Preserving our digital heritage

Digital Preservation Coalition and British Library Preservation Advisory Centre join forces to build digital preservation skills

 

The British Library Preservation Advisory Centre and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) signed a major new memorandum of understanding on Tuesday 19 January.

Focussing on training and skills development, the first joint initiative will be an event on the preservation of digital objects aimed at librarians, archivists and technical staff involved in the creation and care of digital content. Fostering a culture of shared responsibility for and understanding of digital content amongst those caring for library and archive materials is a goal of both organisations.

Caroline Peach, Head of the Preservation Advisory Centre said, “Just as today's library and archive collections are a combination of traditional materials and digital content, it is essential that the boundaries between the activities of ‘traditional preservation' and ‘digital preservation' are merged. Working with the Digital Preservation Coalition to develop skills and encourage the sharing of skills is an excellent way to achieve this.

“We are delighted to build on our existing strong relationship with the Digital Preservation Coalition by signing this memorandum. The presentation from DPC at our recent skills forum ‘Doing more with less?' was extremely well-received.”

”The biggest challenge to our digital legacy is capacity”, explained William Kilbride of the Digital Preservation Coalition, “ensuring that those who care for our collections have the expertise and support they need to deal confidently with the digital domain.”

“Collections care used to be about physical properties of objects, but digital collections have created new challenges for the preservation community. We need new techniques to ensure lasting value from our digital legacy. The UK – and the British Library in particular – has contributed a lot to emerging theory and practice in the preservation of digital objects, so we are well placed to tackle this new challenge. The British Library Preservation Advisory Centre has a very practical and focussed approach. I'm very much looking forward to working more with Caroline and colleagues to help fill the skills gap and in this way ensure that our digital memory is available tomorrow”.

 

Notes to Editors

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes: books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Further information is available on the Library's website at www.bl.uk.

The British Library Preservation Advisory Centre supports the preservation of library and archive collections of all types through the provision of preservation management tools, training and information services: until April 2009 it was known as the National Preservation Office.

The Digital Preservation Coalition was established in 2001 to foster joint action to address the urgent challenges of securing the preservation of digital resources in the UK and to work with others internationally to secure our global digital memory and knowledge base. Estabished as a not-for-profit membership organisation the coalition provides a mechanism by which members can work together to realise the opportunities of long term access.

The aims of the Digital Preservation Coalition are to enable and act as a catalyst to support its members to ensure long term access to and management of their digital assets; to collaborate with our national and international partners to take forward the digital preservation and asset management agenda; and to act as a broker and an agent of knowledge transfer amongst its membership.

For more information:

Ben Sanderson
The British Library
t: +44 (0)1937 546 126
e: ben.sanderson@bl.uk

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

Press Office contacts

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.