Monday 6 August 2007

Preserving the Past

This post is more about repsoitory usage, rather than repository management, but I think it allows me to reflect on my own usage and deposit practice and consider how I might need to support other lecturers similar to me.

Our repository has a fairly liberal accession policy - if you think it's a research output, it's in. This policy is flexible in all sorts of directions, for example recently professors have taken to depositing clips of TV news programmes which mention their research. However, it's never been pushed towards the preservation agenda, but today I've been tidying my office - my first proper attempt since we moved to a new building with smaller offices in December. I have finally got the chance to re-evaluate the contents of all those old box-files, last looked at 4 years ago during the previous move. I have discovered a set of CD-ROMs from one of my old PhD students, who has left me his thesis together with demonstrations and presentations of a handful of projects that he was working on. So I have come over all preservation-minded, and I'm wondering how to deposit this in the repository. A lot of it as never published, but it was demonstrated internally in a large multi-institutional project, and I am loathe to forget it. He did put his thesis on the repository as soon as he graduated in 2002 (bless him!), but the rest needs examining. I think it's all screendumps, powerpoints and web sites and the dynamic websites that he worked on had published, static equivalents so there is no issue about the software emulation. Pity - I'd like to try out some of VMWare's virtualisation mechanisms with EPrints.

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