Digital Preservation Practices

The University of Minnesota Libraries uses a multi threaded approach to digital preservation to support the Libraries’ Digital Preservation Framework.  

This section describes preservation strategies that may be taken to help preserve digital content held by the Libraries. These include encouraging the use of preservation friendly file formats, format migration or normalization, bitstream copying, fixity checking, and documenting and monitoring file formats over time.  

Technological support levels distinguish the broad levels of support effort the Libraries will use to address its stated objectives. Support effort and preservation strategy is guided by a number of appraisal criteria, including uniqueness, relative risk of loss, and feasibility/cost of preservation.  Digital preservation staff, along with content experts, who understand the enduring value of content, in consultation with record analysts and system administrators, make these decisions.  These are also documented in the Preservation Framework document.  

The implementation activities describes actions the Libraries take with digital materials around storage, security, file integrity, interoperability over time, and chain of custody of materials.  Each activity is done to help mitigate a specific risk.    

The level of support given depends on a confidence level associated with a file format (high, medium, low) and the tools available to address specific preservation issues.  Current confidence levels by generic file types are provided below and represent preferred file formats of the Libraries. 

For questions please contact the Digital Preservation Repository Technology department at dprt@umn.edu.