SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation (October 2011)
This SPEC Kit explores the strategies that ARL member institutions use to protect evolving research collections and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. The survey asked ARL libraries about their digital content, their strategies for preserving that content, and the staff, time, and funding they currently devote to digital preservation. It also asked each responding library to compare its digital preservation activities of three years ago to current activities and project three years into the future. In addition, to better understand the roles of research libraries in the emergent field of digital curation, the survey sought to identify issues that are and are not being addressed through current practices and policies.
This survey revealed, as the digital preservation field is maturing, that most ARL libraries are rising to the challenge of establishing policies, workflows, and infrastructures to systematically preserve their rapidly expanding bodies of digital content. The survey also revealed that most ARL libraries are actively engaging in in-house digital preservation rather than outsourcing it to external parties, thus maintaining their control and ownership over the digital content that they curate.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes policies, procedures, and guidelines for digital preservation, cooperative agreements, job descriptions, and data management services.