Library of Congress

Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > WePreserve Meeting, October 2008

December 1, 2008 -- Staff from the Library of Congress joined over 50 delegates from countries throughout the European Union for the third annual WePreserve conference (external link), held in Nice, France Oct. 29-30, 2008.

WePreserve is a collaborative partnership between three European Commission-funded projects: DigitalPreservationEurope (external link); Cultural, Artistic and Scientific knowledge for Preservation, Access and Retrieval (CASPAR) (external link); and Preservation and Long-term Access through NETworked Services (PLANETS) (external link). The partnership provides communication and outreach services and is also the focal point for the development of training and educational activities, events and programs in Europe.

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Attendees at the 2008 WePreserve Conference. Photo credit: Emily Nimmo, WePreserve.

The conference, "DPE, Planets and CASPAR Third Annual Conference: Costs, Benefits and Motivations for Digital Preservation," was a densely-packed two day affair that showcased the huge variety of European digital preservation community activities.

Seamus Ross, the Principal Director of DigitalPreservationEurope, discussed new approaches for preservation outreach and described the challenges of extending the digital preservation community beyond the academic research sector. Ross said that one factor limiting the community’s breadth was its current focus on digital preservation as a "problem," (with the community in the role of "risk amplifiers"), while not communicating more clearly (in the role of "risk attenuators") the potential "solutions" and benefits of digital preservation.

He also pressed the digital preservation community to engage with broader market forces to "change the channel to market," and engage more diverse user communities. These themes resonated throughout the entire conference.

The first day of the conference was aimed primarily at high-level decision makers, featuring sessions on making the case for digital curation and preservation; focusing on the data creators and curators and their needs; and demonstrating the diverse types of digital data in need of curation and preservation.

The second day focused on digital preservation, showcasing a variety of tools, services, and projects. The CASPAR project demonstrated several tools that support the creation, search and preservation of information objects. These tools make up a suite known as the "CASPAR Key Components."

Hans Hofman of the National Archives of the Netherlands demonstrated the Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) (external link) interactive toolkit, intended to facilitate an internal audit of a digital repository.

Colin Rosenthal of the State and University Library, Denmark demonstrated an associated tool, the Planning Tool for Trusted Electronic Repositories (PLATTER). PLATTER is used at an earlier stage of the digital repository process to facilitate the planning of a digital repository and provide "a framework which will allow new repositories to incorporate the goal of achieving trust into their planning from an early stage."

There were also presentations from DRIVER (external link), a multi-phase effort to establish a pan-European infrastructure of digital repositories; PARSE.insight (external link), concerned with the preservation of digital information in science; Sustaining Heritage Access through Multivalent ArchiviNg (SHAMAN) (external link), developing a next-generation framework for analyzing, ingesting, managing, accessing and reusing information objects and data across libraries and archives; as well as several other projects.

The WePreserve partners are facing many of the same issues as the digital preservation community in the U.S., and the tremendous range of activity in various stages of development presented during the conference suggests numerous opportunities for international collaboration.

The next WePreserve conference is scheduled for September 2009.