Kyle Rimkus, Preservation Librarian and Assistant Professor at the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has received a Campus Research Board Award in support of his project, “Advancing File Format Policymaking for Digital Preservation.” The funds will support the hiring of a research assistant for work in 2015.
“Advancing File Format Policymaking for Digital Preservation” seeks to forward digital preservation theory and practice in the field of library and information science by presenting an evidence-based model for file format policy management. Using the University of Illinois Library’s Medusa digital preservation repository as a testbed, Rimkus will contribute to the international field of digital library preservation a practical method not only for expressing and testing file format policies in association with software and operating system profiles, but also for producing a statistically valid overview of preservation risk to digital collections stewarded by libraries and other cultural heritage organizations.
Rimkus’s broader research agenda focuses on investigation of the circumstances under which it is possible to retain access to digital information in the long-term. Seeking to balance competing extremes of superstitious mistrust of and blind faith in the digital, he works from a broad historical perspective, taking into account the successes and
failures of preceding technologies of inscription, lessons learned from the tradition of analog preservation services in libraries, and the current field of digital preservation research and practice. His recent publications include “Hostages of the Ephemeral: A Preservationist View of Electronic Literature,” and, with Thomas Padilla, Tracy Popp, and Greer Martin, “Digital Preservation File Formats of ARL Libraries: An Analysis.”
The Illinois Campus Research Board funds promising tenured and tenure-track faculty research. A list of previous awards and project abstracts can be found at the CRB website.