The CAMiLEON Project is developing and evaluating a range of technical strategies for the long term preservation of digital materials. User evaluation studies and a preservation cost analysis are providing answers as to when and where these strategies will be used. The project is a joint undertaking between the Universities of Michigan (USA) and Leeds (UK) and is funded by JISC and NSF.
What is CAMiLEON?
CAMiLEON stands for Creative Archiving at Michigan & Leeds: Emulating the Old on the New. Emulation has been proposed as a digital preservation strategy that would enable obsolete systems to be run on future unknown systems, making it possible to retrieve, display and use digital documents with their original software. An apparent advantage of this approach is its potential to capture the ‘look and feel’ of digital objects as well as their intellectual content. Emulation as a preservation strategy raises many issues that the project will evaluate.
The project has three main objectives:
The main deliverables of the project will be:
Meeting the Project’s Objectives
As well as using and creating emulation tools the project will also conduct research in the following areas:
A key aspect of the project will be the user evaluation of the range of outputs from the different solutions that have been adopted. User evaluation will be conducted by presenting users with the original objects in their native environment (if possible), the original objects running under emulation, and various surrogates of the original objects that have been converted from their original format.
Cost-benefit analysis of the different technical approaches will be undertaken, in order to assist people making ‘real-life’ decisions over how much effort/resources to invest in exact replication of the original ‘look and feel’.
Collection Management Issues
The project will address concrete and practical collection management issues relating to the necessary level of emulation and the appropriate techniques to be used. This will include:
The project began on 1st October 1999. The UK component of the project will end on the 31st December 2002. The US component of the project will end on the 30th September 2003.