University Libraries

Digital Preservation

Policies & Procedures

Digital Preservation
Digital Preservation Framework (121kb)



The need to develop strategy and take action in the area of digital preservation and data archiving has grown significantly in the Libraries and at the University in recent years. In response, the Libraries aspire to take a campus leadership role in digital preservation and data archiving through the investigation of needs, requirements, best practices, standards, and policy development, and the establishment of exemplar operations. These efforts intend to fit into a larger and evolving expertise-base and leadership role in life-cycle digital data management that the Libraries seek to develop.

What is digital preservation? Digital preservation encompasses a broad range of activities designed to extend the usable life of machine-readable computer files and protect them from media failure, physical loss, and obsolescence.


The initial charge for the Digital Preservation Strategist (DPS) is the development of a digital preservation policy for the University Libraries. From this basis, the DPS will develop a roadmap for establishing a cohesive digital preservation program at the University Libraries, which could be extensible to the campus. This roadmap will include effective and achievable strategies to:

  • Ensure the long-term stewardship towards the viability and accessibility of University Libraries (and campus) digital assets.
  • Adhere rigorously to national and international standards and practices, while addressing local needs.
  • Leverage additional opportunities within the larger preservation community, including collaborative ventures and external sponsorships.

Specific Areas

Planning and Development The DPS researches and develops a digital preservation and data archiving plan for University Libraries, designed with potential extensibility for broader campus participation. In this process, they review all relevant existing Libraries practices, assesses needs, researches best practices, standards, reference models, and state-of-the-art technologies, and closely collaborates with Libraries staff and other stakeholders to establish policies and best practices for long-term digital preservation and archiving. Data types of concern include, but are not limited to, images, audio, video, text, and scientific datasets. They assist in ongoing policy development concerning format specifications for preservation purposes. Over time, the DPS will play a role in the selection and/or development of a certified trustworthy repository of digital resources for the Libraries and, potentially, the campus and beyond.

Collaboration and Education The DPS assists in the ongoing development of requirements and specifications, including formats, for digital material accepted through the University Digital Conservancy. Informs members of the UDC Management and Working groups on strategies and best practices to preserve digital objects deposited in the institutional repository. Similar interactions with the E-Science Collaborative and efforts to establish a media repository are expected. Through these exchanges and others, the DPS works to increase staff awareness about and knowledge on the issues related to digital archiving and preservation.

Campus Partnerships & Services The DPS fosters collaboration and exchange with departments, labs, and centers across the University in identifying, storing, and preserving digital resources; identifies assets in need of Libraries services; develops relationships with those responsible for managing such assets; shares expertise in digital preservation management with the campus; and builds strong working relationships towards these ends.

External Connections The DPS identifies external funding opportunities for digital preservation projects. They prepare specifications for vended services that support the digital preservation program, evaluate responses to proposals for such services, and makes recommendations for selecting vendors. The DPS acts on behalf of the Libraries as a technical liaison on digital preservation issues to vendors providing services. They also represent the University Libraries in external projects or programs in the area of digital preservation.