Emulation for the preservation of multimedia documents
The European project KEEP
The Audiovisual department of the National Library of France (BnF), like many heritage institutions around the world, gathers various materials which pose technical problems that are specific to the large family of electronic documents. These documents are characterized by a limited lifespan and are subject not only to constant technological evolution, but also to the haphazard obsolescence of viewing platforms and hardware. Our presentation offers a glimpse into the heritage mission of these institutions. First, we shine a light on the techniques applied to saving data stored on legally registered materials (diskettes, optical disks, cassettes, cartridges, etc.) and to breaking free of these platforms thanks to adhoc software : emulators. Second, we identify the motives for launching the European project KEEP, which brings together several heritage institutions dealing with the same conservation issues as BnF. The project aims to federate their efforts in order to develop sustainable solutions to preserving electronic publications. In particular, we detail the prevailing angles of research in this project, the subjects studied and the realizations planned. Finally, we state the results and assessment of the KEEP project a few months before its scheduled conclusion in February 2012.
Jean-Philippe Humblot graduated from Institut national des Télécommunications d'Evry (Télécom INT), specializing in software engineering, and holds a postgraduate degree in cognitive science and artificial intelligence from the University of Paris-Sud (Orsay). Having been a consultant and project head for numerous big companies in the IT industry for several years, he was recruited by the National Library of France to treat electronic and multimedia documents for the Conservation and Consultation Service of the Audiovisual department. Among other duties, he applies his expertise in media transfer and computer platform emulation technologies to ensure that the library's collection of multimedia documents is always accessible. Within the European project KEEP (2009-2012), he heads the coordination of testing, integrating and ensuring long-term viability of various developed software components, and participates in the scientific direction of the project.