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Digital preservation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In library and archival science, digital preservation is a formal endeavor to ensure that digital
information of continuing value remains accessible and usable.[1] It involves planning, resource
allocation, and application of preservation methods and technologies,[2] and it combines policies,
strategies and actions to ensure access to reformatted and "born-digital" content, regardless of the
challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the
accurate rendering of authenticated content over time.[3] According to the Harrod's Librarian
Glossary, digital preservation is the method of keeping digital material alive so that they remain
usable as technological advances render original hardware and software specification obsolete

1 Preservation Fundamentals

1.1 Appraisal

1.2 Identification (identifiers and descriptive metadata)

1.3 Integrity

1.3.1 Fixity

1.4 Characterization

1.5 Sustainability

1.5.1 Renderability

1.5.2 Physical Media Obsolescence

1.5.3 Format Obsolescence

1.5.4 Significant Properties

1.6 Authenticity

1.7 Access

1.8 Preservation Metadata

2 Intellectual foundations of digital preservation

2.1 Preserving Digital Information (1996)

2.2 OAIS

2.3 Trusted Digital Repository Model

2.4 InterPARES

3 Challenges of digital preservation

4 Strategies

4.1 Refreshing

4.2 Migration

4.3 Replication

4.4 Emulation

4.5 Encapsulation

4.6 Persistent Archives Concept

4.7 Metadata attachment

5 Preservation repository assessment and certification

5.1 Specific tools and methodologies

5.1.1 TRAC


5.1.3 European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital


5.1.4 nestor Catalogue of Criteria

5.1.5 PLANETS Project


5.1.7 Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories (ISO


6 Digital preservation best practices


6.1 Audio preservation

6.2 Moving Image Preservation

6.3 Email preservation

6.4 Video game preservation

6.5 Personal Archiving

7 Education for digital preservation


7.1 Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE)

8 Examples of digital preservation initiatives

9 Large-scale digital preservation initiatives (LSDIs)


9.1 LSDIs: library perspective

10 See also

11 Footnotes

12 References

13 External links
Preservation Fundamentals[edit]
Archival appraisal (or, alternatively, selection[5]) refers to the process of identifying records and
other materials to be preserved by determining their permanent value. Several factors are usually
considered when making this decision.[6] It is a difficult and critical process because the
remaining selected records will shape researchers understanding of that body of records,
or fonds. Appraisal is identified as A4.2 within the Chain of Preservation (COP) model[7] created
by the InterPARES 2 project.[8] Archival appraisal is not the same as monetary appraisal, which
determines fair market value.
Archival appraisal may be performed once or at the various stages of acquisition and processing.
Macro appraisal,[9] a functional analysis of records at a high level, may be performed even before

the records have been acquired to determine which records to acquire. More detailed, iterative
appraisal may be performed while the records are being processed.
Appraisal is performed on all archival materials, not just digital. It has been proposed that, in the
digital context, it might be desirable to retain more records than have traditionally been retained
after appraisal of analog records, primarily due to a combination of the declining cost of storage
and the availability of sophisticated discovery tools which will allow researchers to find value in
records of low information density.[10][11] In the analog context, these records may have been
discarded or only a representative sample kept. However, the selection, appraisal, and
prioritization of materials must be carefully considered in relation to the ability of an
organization to responsibly manage the totality of these materials.
Often libraries, and to a lesser extent, archives, are offered the same materials in several different
digital or analog formats. They prefer to select the format that they feel has the greatest potential
for long-term preservation of the content. The Library of Congress has created a set of
recommended formats for long-term preservation.[12] They would be used, for example, if the
Library was offered items for copyright deposit directly from a publisher.
Identification (identifiers and descriptive metadata)[edit]
In digital preservation and collection management, discovery and identification of objects is
aided by the use of assigned identifiers and accurate descriptive metadata. An identifier is a
unique label that is used to reference an object or record, usually manifested as a number or
string of numbers and letters. As a crucial element of metadata to be included in a database
record or inventory, it is used in tandem with other descriptive metadata to differentiate objects
and their various instantiations.[13]
Descriptive metadata refers to information about an object's content such as title, creator, subject,
date etc...[13] Determination of the elements used to describe an object are facilitated by the use of
a metadata schema.
Another common type of file identification is the filename. Implementing a file naming protocol
is essential to maintaining consistency and efficient discovery and retrieval of objects in a
collection, and is especially applicable during digitization of analog media. Using a file naming
convention, such as the 8.3 filename, will ensure compatibility with other systems and facilitate
migration of data, and deciding between descriptive (containing descriptive words and numbers)
and non-descriptive (often randomly generated numbers) file names is generally determined by
the size and scope of a given collection.[14]However, filenames are not good for semantic
identification, because they are non-permanent labels for a specific location on a system and can
be modified without affecting the bit-level profile of a digital file.
Data integrity provides the cornerstone of digital preservation, representing the intent to ensure
data is recorded exactly as intended [...] and upon later retrieval, ensure the data is the same as it
was when it was originally recorded. Unintentional changes to data are to be avoided, and
responsible strategies put in place to detect unintentional changes and react as appropriately
However, digital preservation efforts may necessitate modifications to content or metadata
through responsibly-developed procedures and by well-documented policies. Organizations or
individuals may choose to retain original, integrity-checked versions of content and/or modified

versions with appropriate preservation metadata. Data integrity practices also apply to modified
versions, as their state of capture must be maintained and resistant to unintentional
File fixity is the property of a digital file being fixed, or unchanged. File fixity checking is the
process of validating that a file has not changed or been altered from a previous state.[15] This
effort is often enabled by the creation, validation, and management of checksums.
While checksums are the primary mechanism for monitoring fixity at the individual file level, an
important additional consideration for monitoring fixity is file attendance. Whereas checksums
identify if a file has changed, file attendance identifies if a file in a designated collection is newly
created, deleted, or moved. Tracking and reporting on file attendance is a fundamental
component of digital collection management and fixity.
Characterization of digital materials is the identification and description of what a file is and of
its defining technical characteristics [16] often captured by technical metadata, which records its
technical attributes like creation or production environment.[17]
Digital sustainability encompasses a range of issues and concerns that contribute to the longevity
of digital information.[18]Unlike traditional, temporary strategies, and more permanent solutions,
digital sustainability implies a more active and continuous process. Digital sustainability
concentrates less on the solution and technology and more on building an infrastructure and
approach that is flexible with an emphasis on interoperability, continued maintenance and
continuous development.[19] Digital sustainability incorporates activities in the present that will
facilitate access and availability in the future.[20][21] The ongoing maintenance necessary to digital
preservation is analogous to the successful, centuries-old, community upkeep of the Uffington
White Horse (according to Stuart Shieber) or the Ise Grand Shrine (according to Jeffrey
Renderability refers to the continued ability to use and access a digital object while maintaining
its inherent significant properties.[24]
Physical Media Obsolescence[edit]
Physical media obsolescence can occur when access to digital content requires external
dependencies that are no longer manufactured, maintained, or supported. External dependencies
can refer to hardware, software, or physical carriers.
Format Obsolescence[edit]
File format obsolescence can occur when adoption of new encoding formats supersedes use of
existing formats, or when associated presentation tools are no longer readily available.[25]
Factors that should enter consideration when selecting sustainable file formats include
disclosure, adoption, transparency, self-documentation, external dependencies, impact of patents,
and technical protection mechanisms.[26]

Significant Properties[edit]
Significant properties refer to the "essential attributes of a digital object which affect its
appearance, behavior, quality and usability" and which "must be preserved over time for the
digital object to remain accessible and meaningful." [27]
"Proper understanding of the significant properties of digital objects is critical to establish best
practice approaches to digital preservation. It assists appraisal and selection, processes in which
choices are made about which significant properties of digital objects are worth preserving; it
helps the development of preservation metadata, the assessment of different preservation
strategies and informs future work on developing common standards across the preservation
community." [28]
Whether analog or digital, archives strive to maintain records as trustworthy representations of
what was originally received. Authenticity has been defined as . . . the trustworthiness of a
record as a record; i.e., the quality of a record that is what it purports to be and that is free from
tampering or corruption.[29] Authenticity should not be confused with accuracy;[30] an inaccurate
record may be acquired by an archives and have its authenticity preserved. The content and
meaning of that inaccurate record will remain unchanged.
A combination of policies, security procedures, and documentation can be used to ensure and
provide evidence that the meaning of the records has not been altered while in the archives
Digital preservation efforts are largely to enable decision-making in the future. Should an archive
or library choose a particular strategy to enact, the content and associated metadata must persist
to allow for actions to be taken or not taken at the discretion of the controlling party.
Preservation Metadata[edit]
Preservation metadata is a key component of digital preservation, and includes information that
documents the preservation process. It supports collection management practices and allows
organizations or individuals to understand the chain of custody. Preservation Metadata:
Implementation Strategies (PREMIS), an international working group, sought to define
implementable, core preservation metadata, with guidelines/recommendations to support digital
preservation efforts by clarifying what the metadata is and its usage.
Intellectual foundations of digital preservation[edit]
Preserving Digital Information (1996)[edit]
The challenges of long-term preservation of digital information have been recognized by the
archival community for years.[31]In December 1994, the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and
Commission on Preservation and Access (CPA) formed a Task Force on Archiving of Digital
Information with the main purpose of investigating what needed to be done to ensure long-term
preservation and continued access to the digital records. The final report published by the Task
Force (Garrett, J. and Waters, D., ed. (1996). Preserving digital information: Report of the task
force on archiving of digital information.[32]) became a fundamental document in the field of
digital preservation that helped set out key concepts, requirements, and challenges.[31][33]

The Task Force proposed development of a national system of digital archives that would take
responsibility for long-term storage and access to digital information; introduced the concept of
trusted digital repositories and defined their roles and responsibilities; identified five features of
digital information integrity (content, fixity, reference, provenance, and context) that were
subsequently incorporated into a definition of Preservation Description Information in the Open
Archival Information System Reference Model; and defined migration as a crucial function of
digital archives. The concepts and recommendations outlined in the report laid a foundation for
subsequent research and digital preservation initiatives.[34][35]
To standardize digital preservation practice and provide a set of recommendations for
preservation program implementation, the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information
System (OAIS) was developed. OAIS is concerned with all technical aspects of a digital objects
life cycle: ingest, archival storage, data management, administration, access and preservation
planning.[36] The model also addresses metadata issues and recommends that five types of
metadata be attached to a digital object: reference (identification) information, provenance
(including preservation history), context, fixity (authenticity indicators), and representation
(formatting, file structure, and what "imparts meaning to an objects bitstream").[37]
Trusted Digital Repository Model[edit]
In March 2000, the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and Online Computer Library
Center (OCLC) began a collaboration to establish attributes of a digital repository for research
organizations, building on and incorporating the emerging international standard of the
Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS). In 2002, they published
Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities. In that document a Trusted
Digital Repository (TDR) is defined as "one whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term
access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now and in the future." The
TDR must include the following seven attributes: compliance with the reference model for an
Open Archival Information System (OAIS), administrative responsibility, organizational
viability, financial sustainability, technological and procedural suitability, system security,
procedural accountability. The Trusted Digital Repository Model outlines relationships among
these attributes. The report also recommended the collaborative development of digital
repository certifications, models for cooperative networks, and sharing of research and
information on digital preservation with regard to intellectual property rights.[38]
In 2004 Henry M. Gladney proposed another approach to digital object preservation that called
for the creation of Trustworthy Digital Objects (TDOs). TDOs are digital objects that can
speak to their own authenticity since they incorporate a record maintaining their use and change
history, which allows the future users to verify that the contents of the object are valid.[39]
International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) is a
collaborative research initiative led by the University of British Columbia that is focused on
addressing issues of long-term preservation of authentic digital records. The research is being
conducted by focus groups from various institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, and
Australia, with an objective of developing theories and methodologies that provide the basis for

strategies, standards, policies, and procedures necessary to ensure the trustworthiness, reliability,
and accuracy of digital records over time.[40]
The project began in 1999 with the first phase, InterPARES 1, which ran to 2001 and focused on
establishing requirements for authenticity of inactive records generated and maintained in large
databases and document management systems created by government agencies.[41] InterPARES 2
(20022007) concentrated on issues of reliability, accuracy and authenticity of records
throughout their whole life cycle, and examined records produced in dynamic environments in
the course of artistic, scientific and online government activities.[42] The third five-year phase
(InterPARES 3) was initiated in 2007. Its goal is to utilize theoretical and methodological
knowledge generated by InterPARES and other preservation research projects for developing
guidelines, action plans, and training programs on long-term preservation of authentic records for
small and medium-sized archival organizations.[43]
Challenges of digital preservation[edit]
Society's heritage has been presented on many different materials, including stone, vellum,
bamboo, silk, and paper. Now a large quantity of information exists in digital forms, including
emails, blogs, social networking websites, national elections websites, web photo albums, and
sites which change their content over time. With digital media it is easier to create content and
keep it up-to-date, but at the same time there are many challenges in the preservation of this
content, both technical and economic.
Unlike traditional analog objects such as books or photographs where the user has unmediated
access to the content, a digital object always needs a software environment to render it. These
environments keep evolving and changing at a rapid pace, threatening the continuity of access to
the content.[44] Physical storage media, data formats, hardware, and software all become obsolete
over time, posing significant threats to the survival of the content.[3] This process can be referred
to as digital obsolescence.
In the case of born-digital content (e.g., institutional archives, Web sites, electronic audio and
video content, born-digital photography and art, research data sets, observational data), the
enormous and growing quantity of content presents significant scaling issues to digital
preservation efforts. Rapidly changing technologies can hinder digital preservationists work and
techniques due to outdated and antiquated machines or technology. This has become a common
problem and one that is a constant worry for a digital archivisthow to prepare for the future.
Digital content can also present challenges to preservation because of its complex and dynamic
nature, e.g., interactive Web pages, virtual reality and gaming environments,[45] learning objects,
social media sites.[46] In many cases of emergent technological advances there are substantial
difficulties in maintaining the authenticity, fixity, and integrity of objects over time deriving from
the fundamental issue of experience with that particular digital storage medium and while
particular technologies may prove to be more robust in terms of storage capacity, there are issues
in securing a framework of measures to ensure that the object remains fixed while in
For the preservation of software as digital content, a specific challenge is the typically nonavailability of the source code ascommercial software is normally distributed only
in compiled binary form. Without the source code an adaption (Porting) on modern computing
hardware or operating system is most often impossible, therefore the original hardware and

software context needs to be emulated. Another potential challenge for software preservation can
be the copyright who prohibits often the bypassing of copy protection mechanisms (Digital
Millennium Copyright Act) incase software has become an orphaned work (Abandonware). An
exemption from the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act to permit to bypass copy
protection was approved in 2003 for a period of 3 years to the Internet Archive who created an
archive of "vintage software", as a way to preserve them.[47][48] The exemption was renewed in
2006, and as of 27 October 2009, has been indefinitely extended pending further
rulemakings[49] "for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital
works by a library or archive."[50]
Another challenge surrounding preservation of digital content resides in the issue of scale. The
amount of digital information being created along with the "proliferation of format
types" [2] makes creating trusted digital repositories with adequate and sustainable resources a
challenge. The Web is only one example of what might be considered the "data deluge".[2] For
example, the Library of Congress currently amassed 170 billion tweets between 2006 and 2010
totaling 133.2 terabytes[51] and each Tweet is composed of 50 fields of metadata.[52]
The economic challenges of digital preservation are also great. Preservation programs require
significant up front investment to create, along with ongoing costs for data ingest, data
management, data storage, and staffing. One of the key strategic challenges to such programs is
the fact that, while they require significant current and ongoing funding, their benefits accrue
largely to future generations.[53]
In 2006, the Online Computer Library Center developed a four-point strategy for the long-term
preservation of digital objects that consisted of:

Assessing the risks for loss of content posed by technology variables such as commonly
used proprietary file formats and software applications.

Evaluating the digital content objects to determine what type and degree of format
conversion or other preservation actions should be applied.

Determining the appropriate metadata needed for each object type and how it is
associated with the objects.

Providing access to the content.[54]

There are several additional strategies that individuals and organizations may use to actively
combat the loss of digital information.
Refreshing is the transfer of data between two types of the same storage medium so there are
no bitrot changes or alteration of data.[37] For example, transferring census data from an old
preservation CD to a new one. This strategy may need to be combined with migration when
the software or hardware required to read the data is no longer available or is unable to

understand the format of the data. Refreshing will likely always be necessary due to the
deterioration of physical media.
Migration is the transferring of data to newer system environments (Garrett et al., 1996). This
may include conversion of resources from one file format to another (e.g., conversion
of Microsoft Word to PDF or OpenDocument) or from one operating system to another
(e.g., Windows to GNU/Linux) so the resource remains fully accessible and functional. Two
significant problems face migration as a plausible method of digital preservation in the long
terms. Due to the fact that digital objects are subject to a state of near continuous change,
migration may cause problems in relation to authenticity and migration has proven to be timeconsuming and expensive for "large collections of heterogeneous objects, which would need
constant monitoring and intervention.[2] Migration can be a very useful strategy for preserving
data stored on external storage media (e.g. CDs, USB flash drives, and 3.5 floppy disks).
These types of devices are generally not recommended for long-term use, and the data can
become inaccessible due to media and hardware obsolescence or degradation.[55]
Creating duplicate copies of data on one or more systems is called replication. Data that exists as
a single copy in only one location is highly vulnerable to software or hardware failure,
intentional or accidental alteration, and environmental catastrophes like fire, flooding, etc.
Digital data is more likely to survive if it is replicated in several locations. Replicated data may
introduce difficulties in refreshing, migration, versioning, and access control since the data is
located in multiple places.
Understanding digital preservation means comprehending how digital information is produced
and reproduced. Because digital information (e.g., a file) can be exactly replicated down to the
bit level, it is possible to create identical copies of data. Exact duplicates allow archives and
libraries to manage, store, and provide access to identical copies of data across multiple systems
and/or environments.
Emulation is the replicating of functionality of an obsolete system. According to van der Hoeven,
"Emulation does not focus on the digital object, but on the hard- and software environment in
which the object is rendered. It aims at (re)creating the environment in which the digital object
was originally created.".[56] Examples are having the ability to replicate or imitate another
operating system.[57] Examples include emulating an Atari 2600 on a Windows system or
emulating WordPerfect 1.0 on aMacintosh. Emulators may be built for applications, operating
systems, or hardware platforms. Emulation has been a popular strategy for retaining the
functionality of old video game systems, such as with the MAME project. The feasibility of
emulation as a catch-all solution has been debated in the academic community. (Granger, 2000)
Raymond A. Lorie has suggested a Universal Virtual Computer (UVC) could be used to run any
software in the future on a yet unknown platform.[58] The UVC strategy uses a combination of
emulation and migration. The UVC strategy has not yet been widely adopted by the digital
preservation community.
Jeff Rothenberg, a major proponent of Emulation for digital preservation in libraries, working in
partnership with Koninklijke Bibliotheek and National Archief of the Netherlands, developed a

software program called Dioscuri, a modular emulator that succeeds in running MS-DOS,
WordPerfect 5.1, DOS games, and more.[59]
Another example of emulation as a form of digital preservation can be seen in the example of
Emory University and the Salman Rushdie's papers. Rushdie donated an outdated computer to
the Emory University library, which was so old that the library was unable to extract papers from
the harddrive. In order to procure the papers, the library emulated the old software system and
was able to take the papers off his old computer.[60]
This method maintains that preserved objects should be self-describing, virtually "linking
content with all of the information required for it to be deciphered and understood".[2] The files
associated with the digital object would have details of how to interpret that object by using
"logical structures called "containers" or "wrappers" to provide a relationship between all
information components[61] that could be used in future development of emulators, viewers or
converters through machine readable specifications.[62] The method of encapsulation is usually
applied to collections that will go unused for long periods of time[62]
Persistent Archives Concept[edit]
Developed by the San Diego Supercomputing Center and funded by the National Archives and
Records Administration, this method requires the development of comprehensive and extensive
infrastructure that enables "the preservation of the organisation of collection as well as the
objects that make up that collection, maintained in a platform independent form".[2] A persistent
archive includes both the data constituting the digital object and the context that the defines the
provenance, authenticity, and structure of the digital entities.[63] This allows for the replacement
of hardware or software components with minimal effect on the preservation system. This
method can be based on virtual data grids and resembles OAIS Information Model (specifically
the Archival Information Package).
Metadata attachment[edit]
Metadata is data on a digital file that includes information on creation, access rights, restrictions,
preservation history, and rights management.[64] Metadata attached to digital files may be affected
by file format obsolescence. ASCII is considered to be the most durable format for
metadata [65] because it is widespread, backwards compatible when used with Unicode, and
utilizes human-readable characters, not numeric codes. It retains information, but not the
structure information it is presented in. For higher functionality, SGML or XML should be used.
Both markup languages are stored in ASCII format, but contain tags that denote structure and
Preservation repository assessment and certification[edit]
A few of the major frameworks for digital preservation repository assessment and certification
are described below. A more detailed list is maintained by the U.S. Center for Research Libraries.

Specific tools and methodologies[edit]


In 2007, CRL/OCLC published Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria &
Checklist (TRAC), a document allowing digital repositories to assess their capability to reliably
store, migrate, and provide access to digital content. TRAC is based upon existing standards and
best practices for trustworthy digital repositories and incorporates a set of 84 audit and
certification criteria arranged in three sections: Organizational Infrastructure; Digital Object
Management; and Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, and Security.[67]
TRAC "provides tools for the audit, assessment, and potential certification of digital repositories,
establishes the documentation requirements required for audit, delineates a process for
certification, and establishes appropriate methodologies for determining the soundness and
sustainability of digital repositories".[68]
Digital Repository Audit Method Based On Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA), introduced by
the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and Digital Preservation Europe (DPE) in 2007, offers a
methodology and a toolkit for digital repository self-assessment.
The DRAMBORA process is arranged in six stages and concentrates on evaluation of likelihood
and potential impact of risks on the repository. The auditor is required to describe and document
the repositorys role, objectives, policies, activities and assets, in order to identify and assess the
risks associated with these activities and assets and define appropriate measures to manage them.

European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories[edit]

The European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories was defined in a
memorandum of understanding signed in July 2010 between Consultative Committee for Space
Data Systems (CCSDS), Data Seal of Approval (DSA) Board and German Institute for
Standardization (DIN) "Trustworthy Archives Certification" Working Group.
The framework is intended to help organizations in obtaining appropriate certification as a
trusted digital repository and establishes three increasingly demanding levels of assessment:
1. Basic Certification: self-assessment using 16 criteria of the Data Seal of Approval (DSA).
2. Extended Certification: Basic Certification and additional externally reviewed self-audit
against ISO 16363 or DIN 31644 requirements.
3. Formal Certification: validation of the self-certification with a third-party official audit
based on ISO 16363 or DIN 31644.[70]
nestor Catalogue of Criteria[edit]
A German initiative, nestor (the Network of Expertise in Long-Term Storage of Digital
Resources) sponsored by the GermanMinistry of Education and Research, developed a catalogue
of criteria for trusted digital repositories in 2004. In 2008 the second version of the document
was published. The catalogue, aiming primarily at German cultural heritage and higher education
institutions, establishes guidelines for planning, implementing, and self-evaluation of trustworthy
long-term digital repositories.[71]

The nestor catalogue of criteria conforms to the OAIS reference model terminology and consists
of three sections covering topics related to Organizational Framework, Object Management, and
Infrastructure and Security.[72]
PLANETS Project[edit]
In 2002 the Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services (PLANETS)
project, part of the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development 6,
addressed core digital preservation challenges. The primary goal for Planets was to build
practical services and tools to help ensure long-term access to digital cultural and scientific
assets. The Open Planets project ended May 31, 2010.[73] The outputs of the project are now
sustained by the follow-on organisation, the Open Planets Foundation.[74][75] On October 7, 2014
the Open Planets Foundation announced that it would be renamed the Open Preservation
Foundation to align with the organization's current direction.[76]
Planning Tool for Trusted Electronic Repositories (PLATTER) is a tool released by
DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE) to help digital repositories in identifying their self-defined
goals and priorities in order to gain trust from the stakeholders.[77]
PLATTER is intended to be used as a complementary tool to DRAMBORA, NESTOR, and
TRAC. It is based on ten core principles for trusted repositories and defines nine Strategic
Objective Plans, covering such areas as acquisition, preservation and dissemination of content,
finance, staffing, succession planning, technical infrastructure, data and metadata specifications,
and disaster planning. The tool enables repositories to develop and maintain documentation
required for an audit.[69]:49
Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories (ISO 16363)[edit]
Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories (ISO 16363:2012), developed by the
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), was approved as a full international
standard in March 2012. Extending the OAIS Reference Model and based largely on the TRAC
checklist, the standard is designed for all types of digital repositories. It provides a detailed
specification of criteria against which the trustworthiness of a digital repository should be
The CCSDS Repository Audit and Certification Working Group has also developed and
submitted for approval a second standard, Requirements for Bodies Providing Audit and
Certification of Candidate Trustworthy Digital Repositories (ISO 16919), that defines the
external auditing process and requirements for organizations responsible for assessment and
certification of digital repositories.[79]
Digital preservation best practices[edit]
Although preservation strategies vary for different types of materials and between institutions,
adhering to nationally and internationally recognized standards and practices is a crucial part of
digital preservation activities. Best or recommended practices define strategies and procedures
that may help organizations to implement existing standards or provide guidance in areas where
no formal standards have been developed.[80]

Best practices in digital preservation continue to evolve and may encompass processes that are
performed on content prior to or at the point of ingest into a digital repository as well as
processes performed on preserved files post-ingest over time. Best practices may also apply to
the process of digitizing analog material and may include the creation of specialized metadata
(such as technical, administrative and rights metadata) in addition to standard descriptive
metadata. The preservation of born-digital content may include format transformations to
facilitate long-term preservation or to provide better access.[81]
Audio preservation[edit]
Various best practices and guidelines for digital audio preservation have been developed,

Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of

Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes (2006),[82] which defined procedures
for reformatting sound from analog to digital and provided recommendations for best
practices for digital preservation

Digital Audio Best Practices (2006) prepared by the Collaborative Digitization Program
Digital Audio Working Group, which covers best practices and provides guidance both on
digitizing existing analog content and on creating new digital audio resources[83]

Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation (2007) published by the Sound
Directions Project,[80] which describes the audio preservation workflows and recommended
best practices and has been used as the basis for other projects and initiatives[84][85]

Documents developed by the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual

Archives (IASA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Library of Congress, and
the Digital Library Federation (DLF).

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) also issues a variety of standards and guidelines relating
to the creation of archival audio content and technical metadata.[86]
Moving Image Preservation[edit]
The term moving images includes analog film and video and their born-digital forms: digital
video, digital motion picture materials, and digital cinema. As analog videotape and film become
obsolete, digitization has become a key preservation strategy, although many archives do
continue to perform photochemical preservation of film stock.[87][88]
"Digital preservation" has a double meaning for audiovisual collections: analog originals are
preserved through digital reformatting, with the resulting digital files preserved; and born-digital
content is collected, most often in proprietary formats that pose problems for future digital
There is currently no broadly accepted standard target digital preservation format for analog
moving images.[89]
The following resources offer information on analog to digital reformatting and preserving borndigital audiovisual content.

The Library of Congress tracks the sustainability of digital formats, including moving

The Digital Dilemma 2: Perspectives from Independent Filmmakers, Documentarians

and Nonprofit Audiovisual Archives (2012).[89] The section on nonprofit archives reviews
common practices on digital reformatting, metadata, and storage. There are four case studies.

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI). Started in 2007, this is a

collaborative effort by federal agencies to define common guidelines, methods, and practices
for digitizing historical content. As part of this, two working groups are studying issues
specific to two major areas, Still Image and Audio Visual.[91]

PrestoCenter publishes general audiovisual information and advice at a European level.

Its online library has research and white papers on digital preservation costs and formats.[92]

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) sponsors conferences, symposia,

and events on all aspects of moving image preservation, including digital. The AMIA Tech
Review contains articles reflecting current thoughts and practices from the archivists
perspectives. Video Preservation for the Millennia (2012), published in the AMIA Tech
Review, details the various strategies and ideas behind the current state of video preservation.

Email preservation[edit]
Email poses special challenges for preservation: email client software varies widely; there is no
common structure for email messages; email often communicates sensitive information;
individual email accounts may contain business and personal messages intermingled; and email
may include attached documents in a variety of file formats. Email messages can also carry
viruses or have spam content. While email transmission is standardized, there is no formal
standard for the long-term preservation of email messages.[94]
Approaches to preserving email may vary according to the purpose for which it is being
preserved. For businesses and government entities, email preservation may be driven by the need
to meet retention and supervision requirements for regulatory compliance and to allow for legal
discovery. (Additional information about email archiving approaches for business and
institutional purposes may be found under the separate article, Email archiving.) For research
libraries and archives, the preservation of email that is part of born-digital or hybrid archival
collections has as its goal ensuring its long-term availability as part of the historical and cultural
Several projects developing tools and methodologies for email preservation have been conducted
based on various preservation strategies: normalizing email into XML format, migrating email to
a new version of the software and emulating email environments: Memories Using
Email (MUSE), Collaborative Electronic Records Project (CERP), E-Mail Collection And
Preservation (EMCAP), PeDALS Email Extractor Software (PeDALS), XML Electronic
Normalizing of Archives tool(XENA).
Some best practices and guidelines for email preservation can be found in the following

Curating E-Mails: A Life-cycle Approach to the Management and Preservation of E-mail

Messages (2006) by Maureen Pennock.[96]

Technology Watch Report 11-01: Preserving Email (2011) by Christopher J Prom.[95]

Best Practices: Email Archiving by Jo Maitland.[97]

Video game preservation[edit]

In 2007 the Keeping Emulation Environments Portable (KEEP) project, part of the
EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development 7, developed tools
and methodologies to keep digital software objects available in their original context. Digital
software objects as video games might get lost because of digital obsolescence and nonavailability of required legacy hardware or operating system software; such software is referred
to as abandonware. Because the source code is often not available any longer,[45] emulation is the
only preservation opportunity. KEEP provided an emulation framework to help the creation of
such emulators. KEEP was developed by Vincent Joguin, first launched in February 2009 and
was coordinated by Elisabeth Freyre of the French National Library.[98]
Personal Archiving[edit]
There are many things consumers and artists can do themselves to help care for their collections
at home.

"Resource Center: Caring For Your Treasures" by American Institute for Conservation of
Historic and Artistic Works details simple strategies for artists and consumers to care for and
preserve their work themselves.[99]

The Library of Congress also hosts a list for the self-preserver which includes direction toward
programs and guidelines from other institutions that will help the user preserve social media,
email, and formatting general guidelines (such as caring for CDs).[100] Some of the programs
listed include:

HTTrack Website Copier: A site which allows the user to download a World Wide Web
site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML,
images, and other files from the server to their computer.

Muse: Muse (short for Memories Using Email) is a program that helps users revive
memories, using their long-term email archives, run by Stanford University.

Education for digital preservation[edit]

Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE)[edit]
The Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE), as part of the Library of Congress,
serves to foster preservation of digital content through a collaborative network of instructors and
collection management professionals working in cultural heritage institutions. Composed of
Library of Congress staff, the National Trainer Network, the DPOE Steering Committee, and a
community of Digital Preservation Education Advocates, as of 2013 the DPOE has 24 working
trainers across the six regions of the United States.[101]

In 2010 the DPOE conducted an assessment, reaching out to archivists, librarians, and other
information professionals around the country. A working group of DPOE instructors then
developed a curriculum [102] based on the assessment results and other similar digital preservation
curricula designed by other training programs, such as LYRASIS, Educopia Institute,
MetaArchive Cooperative, University of North Carolina, DigCCurr (Digital Curation
Curriculum) and Cornell University-ICPSR Digital Preservation Management Workshops. The
resulting core principles are also modeled on the principles outlined in "A Framework of
Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections" by the National Information Standards
Organization (NISO).[103]
Examples of digital preservation initiatives[edit]
For more details on this topic, see List of digital preservation initiatives.

Digitization at the British Library of a Dunhuang manuscript for the International Dunhuang

The Library of Congress operates the National Digital Stewardship Alliance

The British Library is responsible for several programmes in the area of digital
preservation and is a founding member of the Digital Preservation Coalition and Open
Preservation Foundation. Their [dead link] digital preservation strategy is publicly available.
The National Archives of the United Kingdom have also pioneered various initiatives in the
field of digital preservation.

A number of open source products have been developed to assist with digital preservation,
including DSpace, Fedora, EPrints and Research-Output Repository Platform. The commercial
sector also offers digital preservation software tools, such as Ex Libris Ltd.'sRosetta, Preservica's
Cloud, Standard and Enterprise Editions, CONTENTdm, Digital Commons, Equella,
intraLibrary, Open Repository and Vital.[104]
Large-scale digital preservation initiatives (LSDIs)[edit]
Many research libraries and archives have begun or are about to begin Large-Scale digital
preservation initiatives (LSDIs). The main players in LSDIs are cultural institutions, commercial
companies such as Google and Microsoft, and non-profit groups including the Open Content
Alliance (OCA), the Million Book Project (MBP), and HathiTrust. The primary motivation of
these groups is to expand access to scholarly resources.
LSDIs: library perspective[edit]
Approximately 30 cultural entities, including the 12-member Committee on Institutional
Cooperation (CIC), have signed digitization agreements with either Google or Microsoft. Several

of these cultural entities are participating in the Open Content Alliance (OCA) and the Million
Book Project (MBP). Some libraries are involved in only one initiative and others have
diversified their digitization strategies through participation in multiple initiatives. The three
main reasons for library participation in LSDIs are: Access, Preservation and Research and
Development. It is hoped that digital preservation will ensure that library materials remain
accessible for future generations. Libraries have a perpetual responsibility for their materials and
a commitment to archive their digital materials. Libraries plan to use digitized copies as backups
for works in case they go out of print, deteriorate, or are lost and damaged.