SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation  · 63
“Preservation decisions will be made within the context of the Collection Policy, balancing scholarly and historical value,
user accessibility, and cost constraints.”
Produced by our faculty, students, or staff (or somehow affiliated). Has to be research quality material.
Produced or owned by the university.
Rarity, uniqueness, scholarly value.
Research, administrative, and other materials that constitute the intellectual output of the university.
Research significance, uniqueness, projected use, cost to maintain, long term accessibility of the file format.
Selection decisions are (will be) based on the format of the original created work with born-digital and other e-records
having a high priority.
Some of the criteria used for the selection of digital content selected for local preservation will be its rarity, uniqueness,
whether it’s of interest to our user community, is physically deteriorating or experiencing technical obsolescence.
Still in development, but we will develop policies in collaboration with our Information Services & Technology group.
Subject experts choose.
Taken from our Digital Preservation Checklist:
1. Our collections are part of a co-operative global effort to preserve and provide access to digital collections, therefore
potential specific items more suited to another region or country may be passed along to other institutions if they will
receive a higher priority for preservation somewhere else.
a. Does this collection belong with another regional institution due to its subject matter?
b. Is there an analog/hard copy in good condition that will be available long term within another institution?
c. Are these objects commercially produced items preserved by someone else?
d. Is there a digital copy permanently archived in another Trusted Digital Repository?
e. Does the library have more than one physical copy of the items in this collection?
2. Our aim is to preserve digital collections that will not be preserved elsewhere, therefore we need to take into account
the specific preservation needs and priorities of potential collections.
a. Is the content at risk due to physical deterioration, near-obsolete media/format, or short object life-span (1–3 years)?
b. Would the digital files be difficult or impossible to recreate if lost?
3. Part of preserving digital assets includes copying items for preservation and possibly displaying and distributing those
copies. Therefore, certain copyright requirements must be taken into account before depositing objects with the Digital
a. Do you have rights to this material?
b. Are the works in your collection in the public domain?
c. Do you have permission to use this material?
If you can answer at least three NO answers to question 1, at least one YES answer to question 2, and at least one YES
answer to question 3, your collection would be a good candidate for digital preservation.
The main criteria are: importance of the content for research and/or administrative needs of the university; uniqueness
of the content (i.e., not available at another library); level of risk to the viability of the content over time (i.e., born-digital
materials receive higher priority than materials that have been digitally reformatted and have an analog counterpart).
The material must be produced or sponsored by a member of the university community. The depositor must either hold
the rights or sufficient permissions. The library must receive permissions to preserve the materials. The material must be
in electronic format.
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