Digital preservation: are repositories doing enough for preservation?

17th March 2009

Featuring contributions by Frances Boyle, Neil Beagrie, Barbara Sierman, Chris Awre, David Tarrant, Chris Yates, Rory McLeod, Adrian Brown, Kevin Ashley and Matthew Woollard

Presented by: Steve Hitchcock, RSP and Preserv 2 project. Recorded: 12th December 2008, during the DPC/RSP/DCC/JISC Workshop Tackling the Preservation Challenge: Practical Steps for Repository Managers Event

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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Digital preservation is a tricky subject for repositories. Nobody can object in principle, but the topic can be over-idealised. Preservation practices can be technical and specialised, there are few precedents because typical timescales to be considered are longer than the life to date of most current repositories, and costs can spiral if not based on careful planning.

The way to resolve this, as this workshop intended, is to bring together repository managers and those with digital preservation experience, to identify practical tools and services to help repositories make progress with preservation.

Join us in the kitchen (literally) of repository preservation, and find out what was cooked up.

In this podcast we find out about digital preservation from:

  • Frances Boyle, DPC, on the motivations for the workshop
  • Neil Beagrie, on preservation policy
  • Barbara Sierman, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, on digital preservation initiatives in the Netherlands and across Europe
  • Chris Awre, University of Hull, on Fedora software: "an emphasis on durability"
  • David Tarrant, University of Southampton, on EPrints software: "modular, plug-in architecture utilises external services, cloud storage"
  • Chris Yates, Aberystwyth University, on DSpace software: "re-architecting of the storage layer to support preservation"
  • Rory McLeod, British Library, LIFE, on digital object lifecycle analysis: "extracted the costs of a digital object"
  • Adrian Brown, on preservation tools from the National Archives, PRONOM technical registry, DROID file format identification, risk assessment
  • Kevin Ashley, on preservation services from the University of London Computer Centre: "repositories need to think about preservation even if in doing this they decide it's not important"
  • Matthew Woollard, UK Data Archive, on what repositories can learn from data archiving practices: "continued access is important, data archives provide a service for end-users, repositories don't have clearly defined policies, strategies, operational procedures"

Summary: "It's not enough for repositories to sit back and wait for preservation services - they have to specify what they want, to be user-centred, to establish policies"


For further information email RSP Support or phone 0845 257 6860.