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How bad WAS the parking situation in Middelfart* in 2013?

EU shovels £6m into 'E-ARK' public sector archive... so you'll know

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The European Commission has flung £6m at a new digital archive for storing public and private sector data generated by European nations.

Dubbed E-ARK, which stands for European Archival Records and Knowledge Preservation, the new system will set a "gold standard" for the hoarding of old and new information.

E-ARK is a future-proofing project to ensure that European nations store digitised information according to a “common, robust” set of standards, allowing future access by citizens, businesses and governments.

The project is coordinated by the University of Portsmouth and involves the national archives of five different countries, including Blighty, as well as a number of other public and private institutions.

Dr Janet Delve, of Portsmouth Uni's School of Creative Technologies, said: "Archives used to be about keeping paper records safely under lock and key, but E-ARK is different. With open data, the aim is to put material out there and keep it accessible.

"Information is gold and we want to make sure that it is fully accessible."

For archivists, big data poses a big problem. The E-ARK system will hopefully allow the storage of all sorts of stuff, ranging from scans of books or paper records to the sort of "born digital" information generated in the modern age.

"With the onset of e-government and open data initiatives, archives now have to cope with storing huge amounts of digital material," Dr Delve continued. "The size of the problem is growing because of the colossal quantity of electronic data generated on a daily basis from organisations as diverse as banks, public health bodies and national archives.”

The E-ARK system will feature security mechanisms to stop data being fiddled with unduly.

"People will always try," added Dr Delve. "People in the past may have wanted to sneak in and change paper records. We always have to be vigilant." ®

Bootnote

You can visit the E-ARK's hi-tech website here: http://eark-project.eu/.

* An unfortunately named town in Denmark

Sub-note

The hypothetical scenario posited in the headline is an attempt to by a sub editor amused by childish things to get a laugh from readers who are similarly tickled by toilet humour. Of course, we're not sure if M'fart's traffic stats will indeed be stored in the archive.

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