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Digital Preservation, the library’s mission?

by on September 25, 2012

In academic environments, IT services may be focused on computing power and security. In my experience, it’s very hard to get IT people to understand the concept of Digital Preservation beyond simple backups. In this kind of environment, we are taking the stance that it’s the library’s mission to champion digital preservation to the rest of campus.

I wonder how many other academic libraries are in the same position. They realize their IT resources aren’t giving them what they need, so they start looking into how to do digital preservation themselves, and end up setting a model for the rest of campus.

At CNI this last year, James Hilton found that he could only find 13% of the research done the previous year at his institution. It was just one institution they checked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other institutions are in the same boat. In ten years, will the research that is being done now still be available? I would hope libraries would step up and start dark archives along with their institutional repositories. That’s the route we are going. If faculty don’t want to publish their work, then they can at least let us preserve it for future generations.


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