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Digital Preservation

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Content | Standards and Practices | Infrastructure | Innovation | Outreach

Report: "The Benefits and Risks of the PDF/A-3 File Format for Archival Institutions"

A report (pdf) created by the Standards and Practices Working Group that takes a measured look at the costs and benefits of the widespread use of the PDF/A-3 format, especially as it effects content arriving in collecting institutions. It provides background on the technical development of the specification, identifies specific scenarios under which the format might be used and suggests policy prescriptions for collecting institutions to consider. More information in a 2/20/14 blog post on the Signal.

New Report: "Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation"

A report (pdf) created by the Standards and Practices Working Group, sharing what the group learned by surveying 85 institutions with a mandate to preserve digital content about how they staffed and organized their preservation functions. More information in a 12/16/13 blog post on the Signal.

The Standards and Practices Working Group works to facilitate a broad understanding of the role and benefit of standards in digital preservation and how to use them effectively to ensure durable and usable collections.

In addition, the Working Group seeks to identify, promote and widely disseminate practices found to be effective for selecting, organizing, describing, managing, preserving and serving digital content, in collaboration with other individuals and organizations where appropriate.

Current Working Group activities include:

  • Initiating a project to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of digital preservation in general, but particularly in these areas:
    • Digital preservation terms, concepts, theories, strategies and history
    • Standards, best practices and common methods for:
      • Packaging, transferring or modeling digital content
      • Preserving the usability of digital content long-term
      • Encoding and wrapping digital content using file formats, compression schemes, etc.
      • Describing digital content using metadata
    • Preservation repository architecture, operations and policies
    • Certifying the trustworthiness of preservation repositories
    • Related large-scale initiatives
  • Conducting broad surveys of institutions responsible for digital preservation to:
    • Reveal current and ideal digital preservation staffing levels and functions
    • Identify the standards and best practices that are actually in use at these institutions

Who’s Minding the (Data) Store? Results of the NDSA Digital Preservation Staffing Survey (PDF). Poster from iPres2012.

NDSA questions? Send an email to ndsa@loc.gov.

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