SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation  · 15
Survey Questions and Responses
The SPEC survey on Digital Preservation was designed by Gail McMillan, Director of Digital Library and
Archives, Virginia Tech; Matt Schultz, Collaborative Services Librarian for the Educopia Institute; and
Katherine Skinner, Executive Director of the Educopia Institute and Program Manager for the MetaArchive
Cooperative. These results are based on data submitted by 64 of the 126 ARL member libraries (51%) by the
deadline of April 18, 2011. The survey’s introductory text and questions are reproduced below, followed by
the response data and selected comments from the respondents.
Though ARL has periodically gathered data about preservation practices and polices, past surveys have largely focused on the
preservation of the library’s physical materials. Now that libraries are providing an increasing number of digital resources, both
digitized and born-digital, there is an increased awareness of and a pressing need for information on activities and plans to support
digital collections. However, relatively little has been amalgamated and reported about digital preservation practices and policies. By
completing this survey, your institution has the opportunity to contribute to a more complete picture of the ARL digital preservation
This survey is the first SPEC survey that focuses on
digital preservation
that will document and identify the range of issues and how
ARL members are addressing them. The definition of digital preservation includes the policies, strategies, and actions that ensure
access to digital content over time. Preservation is not just back up, but the managed set of activities necessary to ensure that digital
content remains viable, usable, and renderable into the future (preservation metadata, format migration, fixity checking, etc.) This
survey encompasses all of the ways in which a library may be investing to advance digital preservation, for instance locally managing
digital content, collaborating within or across institutions, or using a vendor-based hosting solution.
1. What types of digital content (digitized or born-digital) is your library currently licensing or
managing on behalf of your institution? Check all that apply. N=63
Digitized special collections 61 97%
Licensed materials (e.g., e-journals, databases, etc.) 59 94%
Still images 58 92%
ETDs (electronic theses and dissertations) 56 89%
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