Digital Archives Research Project: A report and recommendations
The preservation of digital resources is of great importance to the academic community and society as a whole. We are in danger of losing much of our academic and cultural heritage through neglect of these burgeoning resources. This report, initiated by the Special Collections Division of Edinburgh University Library, focuses on research methods of preserving information generated in digital form, and provides a set of guidelines and recommendations for the benefit of the University of Edinburgh as a whole. This report covers the main themes in Digital Preservation, legal dilemmas, metadata and methods of preservation such as the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model, which is now considered to be the internationally recognised process model for Digital Preservation. It also focuses on a pilot project and demonstrates how some electronic university records have been archived successfully. Finally it outlines guidelines and best- practice in creating of a digital object for long-term preservation. Acknowledgements: As part of CURL, Edinburgh University Library sought to consult colleagues on the Cedars project and in that context we are very grateful. The reports Cedars1 have published have been indispensable, as have the process models that the Nedlib2 project have so clearly created and disseminated. Chapters 1 and 2 cover the background to the project and how digital objects are prepared for archiving. For those primarily interested in the practical implementation of Digital Preservation strategies, the Guidelines at the end of the report, in Chapter 4, will be most useful. However, for fuller background and explanation, prior consultation of Chapter 3 of recommended.