Om allmänna handlingars autenticitet vid digitalt långtidsbevarande
Sammanfattning: Purpose –The documenting and administration of society is becoming increasingly digital. In analogue preservation the archival material´s physical properties is instrumental in determining authenticity. Digital material on the other hand, is more dependent on intellectual control and metadata in order to maintain authenticity. It is the aim of this thesis to examine in which ways this digital authenticity could be maintained and to apply this knowledge in an analysis of three of the larger public Swedish archival institutions. The thesis has a user perspective connected to the other main question, which is to analyze which possibilities an archives user in the distant future might have to determine the authenticity of the digital public records created today. Methodology/approach – The mapping of the methods and theories concerning the maintenance of digital authenticity are pursued through an interdisciplinary literature study of the subjects archival science, digital diplomatics and digital preservation. An empirical study was carried out concerning the Swedish National Archives, Stockholm Municipal Archives and SYLL, a joint university project, to establish which methods were used in their digital preservation strategies. The results were analyzed and sorted with the use of systems theory, the OAIS-model and diplomatics. The latter suitable for interdisciplinary studies both qualitative and quantitative in character. Findings – Documentation concerning the authenticity of the digital objects in the public archives is created according to best practice. That means that authenticity is being preserved using the latest and most suitable technical methods and theories. However, some methods concerning authenticity believed to be important in archival science and diplomatics a decade ago – such as digital signatures – are not used today because deemed impractical. Owing to the chosen preservation strategy in Sweden, migrations of the digital material will become inevitable, creating a need for new kinds of authenticity markers. A problem specific for Sweden is that the archives cannot exert control over migration processes before the digital documents reach the archives. The independent standing of governmental agencies makes it difficult to dictate exactly how they should manage documents in their care, the consequence being that the final delivery to the archives creates an inflection point concerning the possibility to ensure authenticity. The future user will however have a number of possibilities to argue for the authenticity of the public record on his computer screen. Detailed metadata, documentation and technical methods, the best practice of which will be guaranteed through the principle of the neutrality of the third party, result in good conditions. Finally, archives having the characteristics of closed systems will probably continue to facilitate public trust in the safe keeping and authenticity of the digital documents. Originality/Value – An empirical study of how digital authenticity is actually maintained in public archival institutions has not been carried out in Sweden. North American studies do exist, but without the user perspective and unfortunately with limited results owing to linguistic confusion between researcher and informants. The interdisciplinary collection of digital authenticity markers compiled in this study is unique and can be used as a basis for further research.
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