SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation · 61
Technological factors and ﬁnancial issues.
Technological factors and the need to optomize our storage efforts.
Technological factors will mean that our strategy will include normalizing ﬁle formats.
Technological factors, institutional preservation priorities.
Technological factors. We would like to limit formats in the hope that if we only have to deal with a certain number of
different data types, we can more easily keep control of future migration efforts.
The ﬁle formats chosen for preservation will be primarily based on external policies (i.e., accepted preservation format
standards) but technological factors such as what our digital asset management system can accommodate and ﬁnancial
issues will also be factors.
The library may ingest any ﬁle format, but only perform bit-level preservation on some ﬁles.
This can be limited by some software (i.e., DAITSS) but it is mainly a matter of limiting ﬁle types in order to be able to
manage them, especially forward migration. We have not yet implemented local preservation but have a system in
place. It is ultimately an issue of time and money, in that more ﬁle types require more support. In addition, we want to
focus as much as possible on archival formats (i.e., XML and non-lossy image formats) which further restricts supported
We anticipate being able to provide bit-level preservation for any ﬁle format contributed by a member of the community
that falls within the archiving scope for the repository, but will not be able to provide a full suite of preservation services
for all ﬁle formats due to practical limitations such as inability to locate and implement migration tools. Financial issues
will be a factor that will limit the size and volume of ﬁles we are able to preserve, but not necessarily for ﬁle format
support decisions speciﬁcally.
We are building our repository with the goal of offering bit-level preservation for almost any format. However, we do
not have ﬁrm plans for supporting format migration over time and, for this reason, may limit deposit of some formats.
Financial constraints may also prevent us from accepting responsibility for very large research datasets (e.g., astronomy,
genomics) even if the demand were to materialize.
We don’t feel that we can guarantee the long-term preservation of random ﬁle formats. We will focus on a smaller
subset of formats, and migrate ﬁles that arrive to us in other formats.
We follow best practices identiﬁed for digital preservation. We respond to the kinds of ﬁles/formats that our community
requests. We prioritize ﬁles/formats that are represented in our local collections.
We make speciﬁc promises and guarantees about the content we preserve, and create extremely tightly deﬁned
package types for each content type. We value (amongst other things) a high level of repository functionality,
consistency, reliability, and ease of maintenance over time. Therefore we restrict the type of digital ﬁle formats to those
that can allow this. For new content types we typically begin with pilot projects and move forward from there.
We use CONTENTdm so can only use the formats it supports.
We will restrict ﬁle formats to open formats.
Will be based on our capability to migrate material forward.