Long Term Knowledge Retention (LTKR): Archival and Representation Standards

March 15-16 2006

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Gaithersburg, MD 20899


To identify challenges, research, and implementation issues in digital preservation of information with an emphasis on design and manufacturing.

Problem Statement:

In this age of Internet and networked economy, the rate at which the digital information generated is far exceeding the rate of consumption. According to some reports, today it takes about 15 minutes for the world to churn out new digital information equivalent to the entire collection in US Library of Congress. It does so about 100 times every day, for a grand total of five exabytes annually. This phenomenal proliferation of information clearly underscores the ease with which we can produce digital data. But our capacity to make all these digital information accessible in 200 or even 20 years remains a work in progress.

Recognizing the importance of these electronic records for its mission of preserving “essential evidence,” the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) launched a major new initiative, the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) initiative, in 1998. The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) recommendation established a common framework of terms and concepts which comprise an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) which was later adapted as ISO 14721:2003. Various other efforts are being explored to address the needs for long term knowledge retention in specific areas like manufacturing, health care and life sciences, legal, and military applications.

In all these efforts, standards play a very crucial role. In the area of engineering informatics, the LOTAR (LOng Term Archiving and Retrieval of digital technical product documentation, such as 3D-CAD and PDM data) project studied the applicability of the international standards such as ISO 14721:2003 and ISO 10303 (STEP). The importance of digital preservation is clearly emphasized by various efforts as mentioned above and more specifically by the Digital Preservation Project of US Library of Congress (www.digitalpreservation.gov). But the long term retention of digital information is a work in progress and there are various issues that need to be addressed. In this workshop we intend to provide a forum for information and archival specialists, domain knowledge experts from manufacturing and product engineering, and other stakeholders, to discuss, among other things, the following set of issues:

1. Digital Archiving Models, Representation Languages and Standards
2. Challenges and Issues in Manufacturing Engineering Informatics

Expected outcome:

A detailed roadmap identifying areas of investigation and experimental testbeds for archival of design and manufacturing information.

Organizing committee:


Joshua Lubell NIST
Sudarsan Rachuri, NIST and George Washington University
William Regli, Drexel University

Committee members

Robert Chadduck, National Archives Records Administration
Eswaran Subrahmanian, Carnegie Mellon University and NIST
John Zimmerman, Dept. of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration


March 15 2006



8:30-9:00 AM

Refreshments and Registration


Welcome and Introduction


Call to Action, Dr. Robert Chadduck, National Archives


Coffee Break


Panel 1: Challenges and Issues in Manufacturing Engineering Informatics

Doug Cheney (ITI Transcendata) – Geometry Analysis
Crispin Hales (Hales-Gooch) – Archiving Engineering Case Files for Future Reference
Jim Mays (Navy) – Defense Archiving Issues and Initiatives
Frank Brown (Kansas Univ.) – Design Geometry Inferencing




Panel 2: Digital Archiving Models, Representation Languages and Standards

Don Sawyer (NASA) – The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Standard
Lou Reich (CSC) – Metadata Standards for Archives
Burt Gischner (Electric Boat) – The Role of ISO 10303 (STEP) in LTKR
Caroline Arms (Library of Congress) – Sustainability of Digital Formats


Coffee Break


Parallel Break out sessions (2 -3 groups)

March 16 2006



8:30-9:00 AM



Principles for Digital Preservation, Henry M. Gladney, HMG Consulting


Coffee Break


Report from the break out sessions

Will be divided among the groups


Concluding Remarks