Personal Digital Libraries and Collections

ID: Beagrie (2005) PDF: (afstuderen:beagrie-2005-personal-digital-libraries-and-collections.pdf|)

===== Summary ===== *Two major trends … **The first is the exponential increase in computer processing power often referred to as “[[Moore’s Law]]” where there is roughly a doubling of the number of transistors on integrated circuits every 18 months for the same unit cost. …. volume and cost **The second trend is increasing consumer digital creativity and an appetite for digital content. This has been dubbed “Generation C (for Content)” *e-portfolios for students, self-archiving by academics, and interest amongst universities and colleges in applications of the creative commons.

==Defining Personal Digital Collections== Individuals have always used physical artifacts as external memory and reference aids. Over time these have ranged from personal journals and diaries, to photographs and photographic albums, to whole personal libraries of books, serials, clippings and off-prints. The urge to express individuality and creativity, and to spend substantial time in developing personal collections of antiques, rare books, art, and ephemera is also of long-standing. This has shaped and defined not only personal collections but also has often been the foundation and lifeblood of most museum, library, and archive collections.

As personal collections shift from paper and analogue formats to hybrid and increasingly digital formats, personal digital collections are emerging. These personal collections are often composites drawing material from the individual’s private life, work, and education, as well as from external communities and content sources. Ownership and intellectual property rights in such collections are therefore often diverse and complex. These collections are often composed of materials intended solely for private reference and use, and/or materials intended to be shared with others at work, or with other communities including family, friends, and interest groups.

*“personal archive” of record; a “personal library” of externally generated articles *Microsoft [[MyLifeBits]] research project … capturing all aspects of an individual’s life digitally…. the best-known *growing area of computer science and industry research. In the USA this led to the establishment in 2004 of the first ACM workshop on Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences – [[CARPE]] *continuous and comprehensive capture has a number of strengths and weaknesses *obsolete formats and media, and missing data (email, webpages, etc.) or access gateways such as passwords. *passive capture methods fail to be selective and will overwhelm the user at the point of retrieval. *less clear that this argument now holds for digital materials. The combination of cheap digital storage and very sophisticated retrieval tools is shifting the balance of costs: collect … select … search *Active personal collection by individuals will potentially protect a significant body of material that might otherwise be lost, *filtering for privacy or irrelevant material such as spam. *Selection and retrieval may be less significant for many purposes and for some content than it is for narrative creation: the ability to edit, organize, and interpret massive collections *As digital content in personal collections continues to grow, particularly content that has been paid for such as digital music or video, it seems likely that individual and public consciousness of and concerns over digital continuity will also increase. *average, 6 percent of data held on all PCs is lost each year (more for laptops and mobile devices because of the higher incidence of theft) [7]. For any collection intended for access and use over a decade or more, the incremental accumulation of risk will become unacceptable. Its mitigation *Digital systems are currently poorly adapted to what might be called individuals’ discontinuity of interest. There is a focus on the immediate needs. *Some personal interests in collections change or may lie dormant over time. For example, in family history, one of the largest and rapidly growing personal pastimes, use of personal collections and material may lie dormant for many decades. Individuals with no interest in historic material or potential future applications early in life are highly likely to be interested in them at a later stage of their lives. Digital systems should ultimately support digital memory. *museums (often referred to as “memory institutions” because of their role in social and cultural memory) *current interests in family history may drive interest in transmission of memories held in personal digital collections. *“digital estates” following the death of individuals. …. issue of access ….personal passwords …. One of the best-known examples of unexpected outcomes from this relates to the Norwegian Reidar Djupedal. He took to the grave the password he had chosen for the database that indexed over 11,000 titles he had compiled at the Ivar Aasen Centre of Language and Culture in Norway. *an international appeal for hackers to help identify the password. It only took hackers five hours to crack the code and unlock access to the database. It would have taken the institute about four years of work to recreate the catalogue had they failed to find the password. *“information banks”, secure or public extensions of personal digital collections. *online backup of digital data *address books and contact details *rapid growth in software for individuals to publish blogs or digital images captured via mobile cameras and phones. *[[Lifeblog]] for mobile phones *[[Flickr]] *[[hosting for life]] *the Internet Archive and other partners have established Ourmedia. Individuals creating video, music, photos, audio clips and other personal media can store heir content for free in perpetuity on Ourmedia’s servers, as long as they’re willing to share their works with a global audience. Ourmedia’s goal is “to expose, advance and preserve digital creativity at the grassroots level.” This is the first such service to explicitly offer long-term preservation as well as hosting services for personal and community content *In the UK “[[Memories for Life]]” [http://www.memoriesforlife.org] was recently recognized as a Grand Challenge for Computing Science *life-caching and personal digital agents *’'’In Austria, the Vienna Technical University is also embarking on a related computing science project entitled “[[Semantic Life]]”. This project aims to build a prototype Personal Information Management system designed to store, manage, and resolve information over one’s lifetime’’’ (M. Ahmed, H.H. Hoang, M.S. Karim, S. Khusro, M. Lanzenberger, K. Latif, E Michlmayr , K. Mustofa, H.T. Nguyen, A. Rauber, A. Schatten, M.N. Tho, A.M. Tjoa, 2004, SemanticLIFE - A Framework for Managing Information of a Human Lifetime - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Integration and Web-based Applications and Services (IIWAS 2004), September 27-29, Jakarta, Indonesia.) *One future vision for e-portfolios suggests moving towards “Lifetime Personal Web-spaces” with every citizen granted a cradle-to-grave webspace that will enable connections among personal, educational, social, and business systems. The Lifetime Personal Webspaces suggested would share many of the characteristics of personal digital collections and shared services to support them noted above. *Sixty years ago [[Vannevar Bush]] drew a remarkable and frequently quoted vision of the future. *how to physically secure such material sometimes over decades; how to protect privacy; how to organize and extract information and to use it effectively; and for material intended to be shared, how to effectively present and control access by different groups of users.
*Similarly the digital material in many of these personal collections is likely to be as significant for future users of historic collections as their paper equivalents are today, providing it survives for future access. Personal digital collections should become a major area of interest for research collections. *In 1959, fourteen years after Vannevar Bush’s article was published, Richard Feynman gave his classic lecture “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An invitation to enter a New World of Physics”, which outlined what was to become the field of nanotechnology [19]. The title of his lecture, and many of the sentiments behind it, seems in many ways appropriate at this point in time to personal digital collections. I hope this brief commentary will encourage more research and thought on personal digital collections and their place and relationship to digital libraries.