SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation  · 37
The biggest barrier for greater preservation of data sets and many other categories of content is funding for additional
programmers and staff to work with content producers, manage metadata, and carry out ingest processes. Preserving
a significant amount of audio and moving image content will require a much larger and costlier scale of storage and
computing capacity. Current copyright law is a barrier for effective preservation of orphaned works.
The cost of hiring a programmer to build a trusted digital repository, the storage costs of archiving large numbers of
digital files, and the need to raise the knowledge level across the board of issues related to digital preservation.
Time and resources. Expertise to deal with complexity. Availability of best practices/good models.
To this point, major barriers have included general knowledge of the issues of digital preservation (as described in
early efforts to survey library staff). This is much less a barrier now, as these issues are understood by a wider range of
librarians than they were several years ago. Dedicated personnel. This is the primary current barrier, as this is a time-
consuming effort, difficult to distribute amongst multiple staff members, as we have tried to do in the past. Technical
knowledge. This is our smallest barrier, as we have staff who understand the basic issues of digital preservation and
possess some knowledge of relevant systems for implementing digital preservation, but there is still a gap to address in
knowledge.
Trust. Scale. Meaningful partnerships.
We are actively working on this now. We had to wait to hire some qualified staff to do the development work and they
are now in place to augment existing staff.
We still lack the appropriate knowledge base to become a trusted digital repository for research data sets, but we have
a working group dedicated to this issue. As for moving image materials, we are venturing into this area with the recent
purchase of a 16mm film to digital file datacine transfer machine. The biggest challenge connected to this area will be
the lack of a uniform lossless compression codec for digital video versus storage space needs for digital video.
13. Compared to three years ago, is the number of staff, amount of time, and funding currently
deployed for investing in digital preservation more, less, or about the same? N=49
N More Less About the same
Staff 49 33 2 14
Time 49 36 3 10
Funding 48 29 7 12
Number of Responses 49 39 8 18
If you answered More or Less, please explain.
A new department was created (Digital Library Initiatives) and more preservation-bound hardware was recently
purchased.
Added staff.
Approximately one more FTE is working on digitization of materials than three years ago.
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