I’ve just arrived in the pleasant surroundings of Weetwood Hall just outside the centre of Leeds and am delighted to find a dedicated group of expert developers toiling away developing solutions and working away on processes to help people to cope when they are suddenly faced with the ghastly prospect of discovering that some part of their digital collection does not look or behave the way it ought to!
This is the Leeds AQUA Mashup Event which is the first of two meetings that are designed to bring developers together for a few days to discuss and work on ways of tackling problems, corruptions, lacunae, mistakes, failures, inconsistencies and things that are just plain damn mysterious in digitised collections. If you want to get a flavour of what is going on, have a look at the wiki – which is being added to right now as the event progresses.
The AQUA (Automated Quality Assurance) project is looking into applying existing tools to automatically detect quality issues in digitised collections and is being funded under the digital preservation strand of JISC’s Digital Infrastructure Programme. Bo Middleton from the University of Leeds and Paul Wheatley from the British Library are leading this initiative but the University of York and the Open Planets Foundation are also partners. It is clear from the list of people signed up for the forthcoming London event that a diverse bunch of people and organisations are hoping that AQUA will devise some great ways of tackling issues in this space. Registration is still available for London on 13-15 June 2011.
It looks to me that the brainstorming they’ve already done here in Leeds around scenarios and actual collections … and how they relate to issues and potential solutions … will really help to accelerate progress and inform activity at the London event. This looks like a great way of working. Do sign up and get involved. #aquaqa