In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Ancient Greek: "forethought") is a Titan known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals for their use. He was then punished for his crime by Zeus.

Prometheus is pictured to the left in Heinrich Füger's Prometheus Brings Fire to Mankind (1817).



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About Prometheus

The Digital Preservation Workflow Project was set up to develop a suitable workflow system for long-term preservation, storage and access to digital collection items received on physical carriers or as discrete files. This initiative supports the Library's Process perspective, relating specifically to Strategic Objectives for developing and managing the collections, in responding to the challenge of digital resources and storing and preserving the collection.



DigCCurr2009 [dij-seeker 2009]
(University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC USA)

Digital Curation Tools and Demos - April 1st, 2009
Session 3 - Invited Demo: Prometheus: Managing the Ingest of Media Carriers - Nicholas del Pozo, Douglas Elford & David Pearson (presenter)

Click here to see this demonstration video
(3 requiring an Adobe Flash Player for viewing)

World Library and Information Congress
74th IFLA General Conference and Council (Quebec City, Quebec Canada)

Preservation and Conservation - August 11th, 2008
Session 1 - Digital objects on physical carriers

Media Matters: developing processes for preserving digital objects on physical carriers at the National Library of Australia. DOUGLAS ELFORD, NICHOLAS DEL POZO, SNEZANA MIHAJLOVIC, DAVID PEARSON, GERARD CLIFTON and COLIN WEBB (National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia)

Click here to read this paper


The National Library of Australia has a relatively small but important collection of digital materials on physical carriers, including both published materials and unpublished manuscripts in digital form. To date, preservation of the Library's physical format digital collections has been largely hand-crafted, but this approach is insufficient to deal effectively with the volume of material requiring preservation.

The Digital Preservation Workflow Project aims to produce a semi-automated, scalable process for transferring data from physical carriers to preservation digital mass storage, helping to mitigate the major risks associated with the physical carriers: deterioration of the media and obsolescence of the technology required to access them. The workflow system, expected to be available to Library staff from July 2008, also aims to minimise the time required for acquisition staff to process relatively standard physical media, while remaining flexible to accommodate special cases when required. The system incorporates a range of primarily open source tools, to undertake processes including media imaging, file identification and metadata extraction. The tools are deployed as services within a service-oriented architecture, with workflow processes that use these services being coordinated within a customised system architecture utilising Java based web services. This approach provides flexibility to add or substitute tools and services as they become available and to simplify interactions with other Library systems.

A high level view of the general system processes, many of these activities are performed automatically by the system, with few user tasks required.

This Digital Preservation Workflow (DPW) system allows Library staff to associate digital holdings to Catalogue Bibliographic records in a distributed, semi-automated and scalable process which includes transferring data from physical carriers [CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs], via customised mini-jukeboxes attached to their SOE workstations, to the Digital Preservation area of the NLA's digital mass storage system, including the harvesting of technical metadata all of which helps to mitigate the major risks associated with the physical carriers: deterioration of the media and obsolescence of the technology required to access them for collection items.

The software is released under the GNU General Public License V3.0.