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Digital Preservation Coalition - Reports

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National Heritage Science Strategy Consultation

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on Science and Heritage called for the production of a new National Heritage Science Strategy, a task that is now being taken forward by the National Heritage Science Strategy Steering Group.  Work has progressed in four packages: at the time of writing 2 out of 4 reports have been released for consultation.

The DPC has responded to this consultation observing that Digital resources constitute a heritage which is worthy of preservation, and that developments in heritage science in relation to digital heritage will be better served where they are aligned with existing and forthcoming initiatives.

DPC Response to 'Archives for the 21st Century Consultation'

The DPC has welcomed a new government consultation by arguing that 'the challenge of managing digital information is one that the UK is well placed to address'.

On the 6th May 2009 the National Archives, on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Ministry of Justice, released a consultation on the future of archival services in the UK. It calls for better and fewer archives; better leadership and training in the archives sector; better electronic access to and wider participation in archives; and greater attention to the challenges of digital data.

The DPC Response to the report concentrates on the latter of these issues. It offers support to the project team in meeting the challenge of digital data and it provides examples of the ways in which DPC members have already ensured that the UK is uniquely well placed to face the challenge of digital data.

Full DPC Response to Archives for the 21st Century [PDF 380KB]

More information and the full consultation can document be found at:

OAIS Review 2006-9

The DPC with colleagues in the Digital Curation Centre have joined forces for the 5 year review of the Open Archive Information System standard. This standard has been widely adopted by those looking to preserve and manage digital data in the long term so is influential beyond the space science community from which it first emerged. An initial workshop in 2006 produced a report containing a series of recommendations for changes to the standard, a subsequent meeting in 2008 produced a report reviewing responses to the first recommendations, and a third consultation in 2009 produced a report on remaining errors in a pre-publication draft of the standard. Each of these reports is available to download, as is a technology watch report on OAIS:

Curating Research: e-Merging New Roles and Responsibilities in the European Landscape 17 April 09 The Hague

A full conference report is available to Members of the DPC:
Curating Research Conference Report (PDF 434KB) (requires DPC Member login)

DPC Response to Digital Britain: The Interim Report.

DPC promotes long term access in Digital Britain.

The DPC has welcomed a new government consultation and has offered knowledge transfer between sectors as a way to promote long term access to digital content.

On the 29th January 2009 the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), published a plan to secure Britain's place at the forefront of the global digital economy. The interim report underlines the importance of the communications sector, its contribution to the economy and its role in building Britain’s industrial future.

The DPC Response to the report recommends:

  • Greater clarity and consideration of digital legacy
  • That consideration of the long-term of digital content will deliver long-term competitive advantage to the UK economy
  • Greater collaboration between the producers of content and memory institutions charged with curating and preserving this generation's digital legacy
  • Greater knowledge transfer between the digital curation and preservation skills sector (such as DPC members) and the creative industries producing new digital content

Full DPC Response to Digital Britain: The Interim Report (March 2009)

More information and the full Digital Britain: The Interim Report can be found at:

JISC Digitisation Programme: Preservation Study

A DPC led bid has been awarded the contract from the JISC to complete work on the Digitisation Programme: Preservation Study.

The consortia, which comprises of the ULCC, Portico and the DPC office, responded to the JISC ITT in September. The work will be undertaken between November 2008 - March 2009.

The main aims of the study are:

  1. To study the preservation plans and processes of the digitisation projects, identifying possible areas of risk.
  2. To offer recommendations, at both an individual project level and for JISC as a whole, for processes and strategies for mitigating the risk.
  3. To provide case studies which would be helpful to the broader community

Full details of the JISC ITT may be found:

The DPC proposal available to members can be found at Members' Area: JISC Digitisation Programme: Preservation Study

A project blog is available at http://digipressurvey.jiscinvolve.org/

Major Reports on Digital Preservation, Curation and Collections

Presentations from the Digital Preservation in the Local Authority Archive Sector Event

An open consultation event was recently held at the TNA to consider the findings of the recent survey in the sector. The presentations from that event may be found:

  1. Introduction to digital preservation requirements. [PDF 2.8MB] Adrian Brown, Head of Digital Preservation, TNA
  2. Work on pre-ingest requirements at Hampshire CC. [PDF 578KB] Heather Needham.
  3. Work on ingest at Gloucestershire CC. [PDF 675KB] Viv Cothey
  4. Report of web archiving activity in Manchester [PDF 873KB] Kevin Bolton
  5. Report of research trip to US and Australia. [PDF 6.5MB] Alexandra Eveleigh.
  6. Report on the analysis of the digital preservation survey questionnaire, [PDF 2.2MB] Heather Needham & Alexandra Eveleigh.
  7. Feedback on mailing lists review of activities in Digital Continuity. [PDF 320KB] Karen Wilson TNA

Survey Report Published

The results of the survey [PDF 36KB] have now been published. The full report may be found at Digital Preservation Survey Report [PDF112KB]

Digital Preservation Survey for Local Authority Archivists & Record Managers.

At a recent meeting with colleagues from The National Archives, the Records Management Society and the Digital Preservation Coalition, we agreed to gather a snapshot of current preparedness for digital preservation within the local authority archive sector.

This survey is being supported by the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (in England and Wales), the Archivists of Scottish Local Authorities Working Group and the Records Management Society. It is the first step in ensuring that the needs of local authority archive services can be effectively recognised and represented in moves towards a new alliance of interested bodies to co-ordinate action on digital preservation.

ACALG and ASLAWG have kindly agreed to send out the questionnaire on our behalf as the best means of reaching archive services within local government. The questionnaire is also being circulated by the Records Management Society in order to gather responses from the records management perspective.

We all recognise digital preservation as being one of the fundamental challenges facing Archives and Records Management. The issue of digital preservation is also a very important one in the light of the current 30-Year Rule Review, the revision of the Government Policy on Archives, in the future relationship of the local archives network with TNA as Places of Deposit, and equivalent changes in the legislative and recordkeeping pattern in Scotland.

Even if you do not currently hold any digital archives, we would still like to receive a response from you as an incentive, you will have fewer questions to answer!

The results of the questionnaire will be presented at an open consultation event at TNA on 12th November 2008. A joint events programme for the UK archives sector involving the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Society of Archivists is also being planned for 2009.

Please pass this to the person best suited to respond within your organisation. Respondents are not obliged to identify their Service, but it would help our planning if you feel able to do so. No respondent will be identified in any published findings.

The survey is now closed and the full report may be found at Survey Report

International Study on the Impact of Copyright on Digital Preservation - July 2008

The Library of Congress has released a collaborative report which is a joint effort of the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIPP), the JISC, the Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project, and the SURFfoundation.

From the 'Purpose and Background' the report was undertaken:

  1. to review the current state of copyright and related laws and their impact on digital preservation;
  2. to make recommendations for legislative reform and other solutions to ensure that libraries, archives and other preservation institutions can effectively preserve digital works and information in a manner consistent with international laws and norms of copyright and related rights; and
  3. to make recommendations for further study or activities to advance the recommendations in the Report.

Section (4) of the report looks at the situation in the UK. This contains an useful resume of the current state of play in the UK and makes recommendations for legal reforms which would facilitate effective digital preservation including revision of the preservation copying exception. Web archiving, licensing and legal deposit are also touched on.

The report concludes with ten joint recommendations:

Countries should establish laws and policies to encourage and
enable the digital preservation of at risk copyrighted materials.

These laws and policies should, at a minimum:

  1. Apply to all non-profit libraries, archives, museums and other institutions as may be authorized by national law (hereafter,"preservation institutions") that are open to the public, provided they do not undertake these activities for any purpose of commercial advantage.
  2. Apply equally to all categories of copyrighted materials, including literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works, as well as to motion pictures and sound recordings.
  3. Apply equally to copyrighted materials in all media and formats, whether hard copy or electronic, born digital or digitized for preservation.
  4. Allow preservation institutions to pro-actively preserve at risk copyrighted materials before they deteriorate, are damaged or are lost, and before any software or hardware required to access and use the material becomes obsolete, subject to measures appropriate to protect the legitimate interests of right holders.
  5. Allow preservation institutions to undertake preservation activities as necessary and in accordance with international best practices for digital preservation, including
    1. Reproduction and retention of such copies as may be necessary for effective digital preservation;
    2. The serial transfer of copyrighted works into different formats for preservation in response to technological developments and changing standards, and
    3. The communication of works within the preservation institution for administrative activities related to preservation, or between the preservation institution and legally authorized third party preservation repositories as necessary for the purpose of maintaining redundant preservation copies to protect against catastrophic loss.
    All of the foregoing should be subject to measures appropriate to protect the legitimate interests of right holders.
  6. Enable relevant preservation institutions comprehensively to preserve copyrighted materials that have been made available to the public in digital form, by means of
    1. A legal deposit system,
    2. The legal ability to harvest publicly available online content for preservation purposes,
    3. Incentives for contractual arrangements for preservation activities, and/or
    4. Some combination of the foregoing.

It is also recommended that

  1. Preservation institutions should work with right holders to develop workable approaches to the digital preservation of copyrighted materials protected by technological measures such as encryption or copy protection.
  2. Preservation institutions should develop best practices for digital preservation.
  3. Further research should be undertaken on the national level with regard to whether and under what circumstances access to digital preservation copies can be provided without harm to right holders.
  4. Further research should be undertaken on the national level to re-examine the interaction between copyright and private agreements as it relates to digital preservation.

It will be interesting to see what the recent WIPO workshop will come out with in regard to this most important topic. The workshop presentations are now available at:


The full report may be found at

Use and Development of Standards

In 2004-2005, The National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) conducted for the IFLA-CDNL Alliance for Bibliographic Standards (ICABS) a survey on the use and development of standards in digital archiving within the international library world. The survey resulted in the report:

Availability of Suitable Guidance Documents
In the same period the National Library of Australia also carried out a survey for ICABS on digital preservation. This survey focused on the availability of suitable guidance documents for preserving digital materials:
"Report to ICABS on guidance for digital preservation: Report on a survey of Sources".

Your Data at Risk

The National Council on Archives has published a new Advocacy Document to help archivists convince other people why preserving electronic records is an urgent issue. This Advocacy Document, called 'Your Data At Risk', is aimed at Chief Executives of local authorities, Finance Officers and other non-specialists in positions of authority who may make policy or resource decisions that affect archival services.
This document will be circulated to all Local Government Chief Executives. It is available in hard copy from Ruth Savage, Policy and Development Officer of the NCA, or in electronic format from the NCA website:

Report of the National Science Board - Long lived Digital Data Collections: Enabling Research and Education in the 21st Century - May 2005

National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data (NCASRD) - January 2005

JISC Digital Repositories Programme - 2005

Collections for the future : the Museum Associations' Inquiry - 2005

Rand Europe's 'Digital Preservation - The uncertain future of saving the past'


'Keeping research data safe'

Author: Neil Beagrie; Julia Chruszcz; and Brian Lavoie
Publication date: 12 May 2008

Report on Digital Preservation, Orphan Works, and Out-of-Print Works. Selected Implementation Issues.

Contributing Authors:
Prof. Marco Ricolfi, Chairman of the Subgroup
Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of The British Library
Claudia Dillman, Director of Deutsches Filminstitut and President of Association des Cinematheques Europeennes
Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, Honorary President of IFRRO - International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations
Toby Bainton, Secretary of the Society of College, National and University Libraries, and Chair of the Copyright Expert Group of EBLIDA - European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations
Anne Bergman-Tahon, Director of FEP - Federation of European Publishers
Jean-Francois Debarnot, Directeur Juridique of INA - Institut National de l'Audiovisuel
Myriam Diocaretz, Secretary General - The European Writers' Congress
Olav Stokkmo, Secretary General - IFRRO
Publication date:  18.04.2007

NSF Cyberinfrastructure Vision and Strategic Plan (February 2006)

An updated version of the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Vision and Strategic Plan is now available for comment. This includes a considerable amount of new detail on NSF's thinking about data management and curation not present in earlier versions of the document. The document can be found at
Comments are solicited, and should be sent by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ARL Endorses Call for Action to Preserve E-Journals


An Audit Checklist for the Certification of Trusted Digital Repositories.

Comments on the draft are invited by January 2006.

Digital Preservation and Permanent Access to Scientific Information: The State of the Practice.

CENDI - 2004-3. Updated February 04, 2005.

Solicitation of Public Comments on a Draft US National Science Board Report

The National Science Board (NSB, the Board) invites public comments on the draft report, Long-Lived Digital Data Collections: Enabling Research and Education in the 21st Century (NSB-05-40).
The draft report may be viewed and downloaded from the NSB Web site
The draft report provides the findings and recommendations of the Board on Long-Lived Digital Data Collections. The report arises from the recognition by the Board of the growing importance of digital data collections in research and education and their potential for broadening participation at all levels. It is intended by the Board as a first step in undertaking a broader discussion of the issues.
The Board plans to discuss public comments and revisions to this document in May 2005.
Comments should be addressed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by May 1, 2005.

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee: "Scientific publications: free for all? Tenth Report of Session 2003-04."

HC 399-1, Stationery Office, 2004 is available online as html or pdf from publications and reports section at:

Implementing Preservation Repositories for Digital Materials: Current Practice and Emerging Trends in the Cultural Heritage Community.

The PREMIS group recently published a report of findings from a survey they undertook, Implementing Preservation Repositories for Digital Materials: Current Practice and Emerging Trends in the Cultural Heritage Community. Some DPC members participated in this survey. The report is available from the PREMIS website at:

UK Needs Assessment

State of the Nation Survey to reveal threat to the UK's Digital Heritage

MLA Survey
The MLA funded survey of two English regions (North East and West Midlands) has now been completed. The press release is available from

  • http://www.mla.gov.uk/webdav/harmonise?Page/ @id=82&Document/@id=20130
    Update 18 December 2008
    No longer available
  • The survey report is available from:
    Update 18 December 2008
    No longer available

This survey will form an important part of the UK Needs assessment of Digital Preservation in the UK.

DPC Members Survey
Report by Duncan Simpson, consultant, March 2004.
Annexes of the Survey are available only to Members of the DPC - for information on Membership, including benefits and how to join, please go to Membership.

Mind the Gap

April 2008: Invitation to Tender 'Mind The Gap' - Follow-Up Study

The value and success of the 2006 'Mind the Gap' report, both to its membership and the wider community, are recognised. The DPC are now commissioning a study to review and analyse the report's final recommendations and to produce a transparent action plan for the DPC, its members and the wider digital preservation community.

The full ITT, available to members, can be found at ITT 'Mind the Gap' Follow-up Study (PDF 57KB)

Both DPC members and a number of consultants have been invited to tender for this proposal.  It is hoped that the work will be completed by the end of September 2008.

February 2006: Launch of 'Mind the Gap' Report

Technology Watch Reports

'Technology Watch Report 09-02: Preview
File Formats for Preservation by Malcolm Todd

Technology Watch Report 09-01
Preserving Geospatial Data by Guy McGarva, Steve Morris and Greg Janée

Technology Watch Report 08-02
Preserving the Data Explosion: Using PDF by Betsy A. Fanning

Press coverage on this report

Technology Watch Report 08-01
JPEG 2000 - a Practical Digital Preservation Standard? by Robert Buckley, Ph.D.

Technology Watch Report 05-01
Preservation Metadata by Brian Lavoie and Richard Gartner

A DPC members only meeting on Preservation Metadata was structured around this report and held on Thursday 8th September 2005.

Technology Watch Report 04-03
The Large-scale Archival Storage of Digital Objects
by Jim Linden, Sean Martin, Richard Masters, and Roderic Parker


  • Large-scale Archival Storage (PDF 340KB)
  • DPC Meeting on this subject held in York, UK 22nd April 2005

    Technology Watch Report 04-02
    Institutional Repositories in the context of Digital Preservation
    by: Paul Wheatley, University of Leeds, March 2004


  • Institutional Repositories (PDF 317KB)
  • Technology Watch Report 04-01
    The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide by: Brian F. Lavoie, Office of Research, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., January 2004


  • Introduction to OAIS (PDF 372KB)

  • DPC Guides

    DPC Guides are documents prepared on behalf of the DPC and intended to provide practical guidance to those undertaking digital preservation or considering doing so. The first Guide is a Directory of Digital Repositories and Services. This will be periodically updated as we hear of more repositories and services.


  • Directory
    Directory of Digital Repositories and Services in the UK June 2005 (PDF 294 KB)
  • Outsourcing
    Contracting Out for Digital Preservation Services: Information Leaflet and Checklist (PDF 164KB)

  • IT Vendors Survey

    • IT Vendors Survey
      Public Draft - Extracts from A Survey of Information Technology Vendors
      by: Philip Lord, The Digital Archiving Consultancy, 28th October 2002

    Annual Reports