ALCTS E-Forum on Digital Preservation

The moderators were kind enough to place a summary of the discussions that took place over the past 2 days on the e-forum on digital preservation.

… Over 2,400 people subscribed and 34 participated, showing such an ongoing interest in and engagement with this topic.


A lot of participants had similar visions for what digital preservation is, a vision that encompasses access, and management, and longevity.  There was also a considerable amount of discussion around difficult file formats, especially challenges with video.  It’s also really clear that a lot of people are trying to find ways to get institutional support and a sensible infrastructure for digital preservation activities. Creating relevant policies, effectively engaging administrators, and planning with few resources are clearly things all of those in this area have in common.


A special thanks to all new practitioners who chimed or listened in on the conversation, as well as those who offered up assistance and connected with those who might have need of their expertise.  We’re both always willing to chat or partner with others, so feel free to contact us at or Finally, we’ve listed all of the links mentioned in the forum below, for your reference.


Enjoy your weekend, and keep tuned in for the next ALCTS e-forum.


Lisa Gregory & Amy Rudersdorf

List of Resources/Links discussed in the forum:

A/V Geeks Transfer Service.

Cornell – report on a 1994-1996 NEH project.

Digital Preservation Education for State Government Employees.

Digital Preservation Management online tutorial, Sections 2, 3, and 5:

  • Definitions of digital preservation, “Obsolescence and Physical Threats,” and a discussion of challenges and institutional strategies are included in this tutorial

Digital Curation Centre (UK).

  • Scroll down to “preservation” for a brief definition.  Another great resource from the DCC is the Curation Lifecycle Model: This brings up another question. What is “digital curation” and how does it play into this discussion?

The digital divide: Assessing organisations’ preparations for digital preservation

  • A nice overview of a survey that highlights common hurdles felt by institutions embarking on digital preservation. [Note: The majority of respondents were from European institutions.]

Espida Project.

File Formats & Guidelines, Harvard University Library:

  • “Format considerations and recommendations for creating digital content suited for long-term preservation and use.”

File Formats & Compression (JISC).

  • “This document looks at the theory of file formats and the common methods of data compression.”


“How do you know what you don’t know? Digital preservation education”

  • A brief 2010 article by Mary Molinaro in Information Standards Quarterly

ICPSR Workshop in June:

Introduction to OAIS.

  • A nice overview of the ISO model, which is used within the digital preservation community, from which digital repositories are conceived and built.

IN public records

Keeping Research Data Safe (JISC).

Kodak data sheet on a printer, with technical specs

Library of Congress survey on digital preservation training

  • Take a look at the entire survey, or just brief yourself on the press release.

Nesbit’s Media Library System.


NY State Archives – good explanation (2000)


Prescan Blog.

SAA Listserv.

Sustainable economics for a digital planet: Ensuring long-term access to digital information

  • This report examines the economic implications of digital preservation, including sustainability.

UTA Collection Development Policies.


West Court Records Service Inc.



One thought on “ALCTS E-Forum on Digital Preservation

  1. Great blog! I truly love how it’s easy on my eyes and the details are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which ought to do the trick! Have a nice day!

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