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A holistic approach to digital preservation

October 24, 2014

Bjørn H Brudeli, Product Manager for Piql Preservation Services in Norway presented a new storage technology for digital preservation in his presentation. Piql, established in 2002, produces the Cinevator, real-time film recorder. In 2009, the company started on a project for digital preservation funded by the European Union and the Norwegian Research Council; technology partners include Fraunhofer, Harman Technology and several others; Piql is also working with Technicolor.

Piql Preservation Services is a fully integrated turnkey solution with all components needed for writing, storing and retrieving digital data. "We use B&W microfilm and print analog and digital data on it, including the metadata and instructions on how to decode the data in human readable form," he said. "Since it's film, it's readable with the human eye." What is bits on film? "It's binary data in a 2D barcode," he said. "We project the barcode on 35mm perforated instruments. The medium has proven long-term qualities, and digital data can be stored alongside images and/or readable text." In addition to digital frames, analog images can be printed, allowing flexible formats. For example, ten pages [of a book] can be stored in one frame. The frames are organized into a file system, which can contain analog and digital versions of the same data. A control section describes how to decode the reel, which is a sequence of frames. He showed examples of how material from the National Archive of Sweden have been preserved on the system. 

To restore, the Piql Preservation System searches for metadata and processes the request from ICA-Atom to link the AIP with the reel in storage, Once the reel is found, it reads the frame from the microfilm. "In parallel, we decode every single frame, combine all frames to the file, compare checksums and the AIP is restored." The preservation medium has been tested for longevity (500+ years), is ultra secure, because data cannot be modified or deleted. All information needed to access and understand the information at some time in the future is included on the medium itself," he noted. "No specific hardware or software is needed in the future to retrieve the data."

Tag(s): Microfilm , 2D

Debra Kaufman

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