Relationship with other EU projects
The aim of this project is to guarantee that objects originating from obsolete platforms will still be exploitable, even for readers accessing them a long time after the objects were produced. The key benefit of this project, however, is not simply this, but that the virtual machine is effectively future-proofed, not tied to a state-of-the-art in operating systems, but essentially a self-emulating framework. The method of preservation is, by its very nature, not subject to preservation requirements, but will remain accessible to future technology. In this matter, it is consistent with the European Digital Library initiative since it offers elements of global solutions to issues linked to data preservation and accessibility, as well as ensuring that these two properties can last over time. The results of other European projects such as Prestospace or Caspar as well as the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) will be taken into account. More particularly, KEEP has a strong relation to the outcomes of European projects Planets and SHAMAN: currently, Planets is developing a permanent access framework which will take care of retaining access to digital objects by performing preservation planning, characterisation and follow-up actions such as migration and emulation. KEEP will form an extension to this framework by further developing emulation services and by offering a compatible interface that integrates these services with Planets (figure 4).
When a digital object is disseminated from a digital archive, the object needs to be identified. This is done by the characterisation registry of Planets and results in additional information (metadata) about the kind of object and its dependencies on hardware and software. The next step is to identify which preservation action tools are available to render the digital object authentically. This is also covered by Planets by introducing the tools registry for preservation action. Emulators supported by KEEP will be registered to this registry and can be selected for emulation. Via a compatible interface between Planets’ tools registry and KEEP’s emulation framework, the digital object and its metadata will be loaded. From then on, the emulation framework of KEEP will take over and will deliver an authentic rendering of the digital object.
The KEEP Emulation Services will also be able to operate without Planets for digital archives that are not integrated with the Planets framework. To cope with that, an additional document browsing system with metadata database will be developed which directly interfaces with the front-end and core emulation framework.
It is intended that technologies proposed by KEEP will allow integration with technologies delivered by the SHAMAN project. In particular, the SHAMAN “Multivalent Technologies”, suited for migration, could be “migrated to […] or emulated on […]Universal Virtual Computer (UVC) technologies”, which in the case of KEEP will be the Olonys concept. Both systems seem to share a similar approach of working with more natural systems “utilising abstract representation mechanisms”, SHAMAN “for documents and media-objects”, Olonys for peripheral devices.
A liaison with PLANETS as well as SHAMAN will be proposed and set-up during the project.