Keynote Speakers

KEYNOTE: Peter Zhou

Towards a Sustainable Infrastructure for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Digital Scholarship

The digital lifecycle contains definitive processes of data curation, management, long-term preservation, and dissemination of the content, all key building blocks in the development of a digital library. It is vital to maintain a complete digital lifecycle workflow for the preservation of digital cultural heritage and digital scholarship. In this talk, I will explore a digital lifecycle program (DLP) for digital libraries. When we begin to build a complete digital lifecycle, we also refer to the print lifecycle. The two are similar despite differences in format and physical conditions for content creation (selection & data mining, conversion and curation), organization (analysis, integration, aggregation and linking), and interpretation (metadata and cataloging), preservation (data storage, duplication, checksum & repair, and migration), access and publishing (navigating, discovery and rights management). Only through a systematic and sustainable digital lifecycle program, can we build platforms for cross disciplinary research and repositories of large aggregated digital content.

DLP can be exemplified in specific cultural heritage projects such as the Digital Dunhuang project. Digital Dunhuang enables long-term preservation of cultural heritage of inestimable value, while providing a platform for sharing all digital assets generated in the act of preservation. With the support of The Mellon Foundation, the Dunhuang Academy has been exploring building a permanent repository of all Digital Dunhuang assets. The only way to ensure that information gathered from Dunhuang’s Mogao Caves is permanently preserved for future generations, is to integrate all the content that has been created in the past, is being created now, and will be created in the future into one large digital repository. This digital repository will facilitate perpetual preservation, effective digital asset management operations, and easy access in a systematic way.

In facilitating the digital lifecycle development, we are ensuring that knowledge and scholarship created in the digital age will be able to survive as print-and-paper scholarship has for centuries. We are also ensuring that the vast number of users of the digital library will have effective access to aggregated content across different domains and platforms. During those transformative changes, librarians will take on shifting roles in data management, digital preservation, rights management, open access, and innovation.