Assignment Two
Final Project


A substantive, in-depth, individual project and/or  8 – 12 page paper on digital preservation or access. Please discuss your proposed topic with the instructor in October or November. You must turn in a formal project/paper proposal no later than November 7th, and the instructor must approve your topic and scope. Papers should follow the basic outline of a research paper with a introduction, body and conclusion, and contain a thesis statement. 


Deliverables & Due Dates

  1. Tuesday, November 6th – One-page proposal

  2. Tuesday, December 11th Twenty minute in-class presentation, including Q&A

  3. Friday, December 14th, 6pm – Final 8-12 page paper (single spaced) + bibliography/webography

Possible Topics

  1. Comparisons – Discuss different types of storage media, file formats, wrappers, codecs, or other building blocks of digital objects, systems, or architecture, and compare these elements as they relate to digital preservation.

  2. Histories – Research the histories of computer systems or environments, file formats, computing protocols (file systems, networking, etc.), or software applications, and explain how their makeup and trajectory throughout their usage over time presents digital preservation challenges, or facilitates long term sustainability of digital objects or systems.

  3. Project & Paper – Make a collection assessment and preservation plan for a small digital collection and document your findings and experience.

  4. Technology Review – Perform an in-depth study of a hardware or software technology, tool or process used for digital preservation (JHOVE/DROID, PREMIS, Webrecorder, LTO tape). For example, explore the development, historical context, and common usage of the SHA-1 checksum algorithm. Describe its use for digital preservation, review the technology behind it, and explore its usage in digital archives and repositories. 

  5. Research a Preservation Initiative – Research the history of a large or small-scale digital preservation initiative (The Landmark Study, OAIS, library or community digital archiving initiative, etc.). Describe the initiative in detail, including historical context and effect on a designated community and the digital preservation community as a whole. Did the initiative meet its goals? Was it successful? Is it a work in progress, and if so, how has it effected its user base?

  6. Digital Preservation Case Studies– Choose one topic from class relating to digital preservation (format identification, digital object specifications, storage or storage media, fixity) and ask several archivists or practitioners about their approach to that subject.