Preservation Strategies

How trustworthy is the SCAPE Preservation Environment?

Over the last three and a half years, the SCAPE project worked in several directions in order to propose new solutions for digital preservation, as well as improving existing ones. One of the results of this work is the SCAPE preservation environment (SPE). It is a loosely coupled system, which enables extending existing digital repository systems (e.g. RODA) with several components that cover collection profiling (i.e. C3PO), preservation monitoring (i.e.

BSDIFF: Technological Solutions for Reversible Pre-conditioning of Complex Binary Objects

Documented provenance and the ability for researchers to locate and view original versions of digital records as transferred into an archive are concepts central to archival theory. The continuing ability to enable this is challenged by the numbers of digital records we’re facing; a requirement to follow good digital preservation practice; a need to provide access; the complexity of modern file formats; and the cost of doing all of it. Technological solutions, and techniques borrowed from other disciplines can help reduce costs throughout the transfer process through to the maintenance of digital objects in a digital repository without compromising the integrity asked by archival theory. Using binary diffs and binary patching mechanisms is one such solution that can reduce costs and provide a sound method of documenting all file modifications, from the trivial to the complex – enabling the original record to always be recovered.

Managing Digital Preservation: A SCAPE & OPF Seminar

This event will focus on the issues that managers face when implementing digital preservation in their organisation. It will explore the tension between stable business processes and the introduction of new technologies. Many managers have a responsibility for digital preservation but they are not necessarily a technical expert in the field.

Why attend?

  • Meet peers who are managing digital preservation
  • Learn about the approach of others who are embedding digital preservation in business practices
  • Hear about strategic approaches and policies in the field of digital preservation
  • Meet experts in digital preservation
  • Find out about research and development project developments

Who should attend?

Managers with a responsibility for digital preservation in large or small organisations

2 April 2014
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SCAPE survey on preservation monitoring. Participate now!

Anyone willing to preserve digital content must be aware of events that might constitute a relevant risk. In SCAPE we are developing tools that will allow you to detect risks before they cause any irreversible damage.

Help us understand the preservation events, threats and opportunities, you find more relevant and the ways you would like us to detect them.

Participate in our survey and help us develop tools that would help you to automatically detect problems in your own content, and events that might put it at risk.

The survey has 30 short questions that should take about 10 minutes to complete.


OPF Webinar: Securing funding for your digital preservation, with SPRUCE

Making the case to your organisation's management, or to external funders, to adequately resource your digital preservation activities is not an easy task. Digital preservation is not always a straightforward sell. In this financial climate the justification for spending money has to be compelling and watertight. In this webinar Paul Wheatley will describe how to make the case for funding your digital preservation, with reference to the SPRUCE Project's Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit.

* Making a compelling case to fund digital preservation
* The Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit from SPRUCE
* Getting started
* Other resources

There are twenty-five places available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Date: Wednesday 27 November
Time: 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET
Duration: 1 hour
Session Lead: Paul Wheatley, SPRUCE Project Manager, University of Leeds
27 November 2013
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Fund it, Solve it, Keep it (with SPRUCE)

How to fund and solve your digital preservation challenges


What will the event do for me?

This event will help to make your digital preservation more effective by demonstrating the best community focused approaches and results from the JISC funded SPRUCE Project. You'll be hearing from the SPRUCE Team experts and from the practitioners and developers who have been tackling digital preservation challenges in targeted SPRUCE Award projects. We'll also be hearing from you, so we can take on board what you need from our future work.

  • If you're taking your first steps in preserving your digital assets we will demonstrate how to get started, where to get help, and how to make the case to resource your work more effectively.
  • If you're already engaged in digital preservation we'll show how your efforts can be supported more effectively with help from the community.

Key topics we will be covering include:

  • Securing funding for your digital preservation activities with the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit
  • Community approaches to solving digital preservation challenges
  • SPRUCE guides on how to assess your digital collections
  • Stabilising data stored on obsolete hand-held media
  • Results from the SPRUCE Award Projects

Who is this for?

Practitioners, developers and middle managers who are engaged (or would like to be engaged) in preserving their organisation's digital assets.

When, where and how do I register?

The free event will take place at 11am on the 25th November at the brand new Library of BirminghamRegister your attendance here. Please note that anyone who registers for the event and then fails to attend without giving at least one week of notice will be liable for a £50 cancellation charge. Places are limited, so please don't waste them!

25 November 2013
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POSTPONED Digital Preservation Without Tears

The ‘Digital Preservation Without Tears’ Mash-up will appeal to collection owners and developers.  The programme offers two connected strands – a hack and a sprint.

  • In the hack, developers will have two days to develop, test and enhance practical tools for digital preservation. Collection owners will be invited to bring problem elements of their digital collections for analysis using the latest digital forensic and characterisation tools.  This will help the collection owners develop practical workflows for management and preservation while helping developers spot and refine solutions that will enable better tools.
  • In the sprint, collection owners will examine current thinking on digital preservation policy and planning in their organisations.  Collections owners will present their own digital preservation policies and will be invited to assess these against each other and against emerging good practice, providing a managed environment for policy development and peer review.  Collection owners will then be invited to pool their wisdom to create a Digital Preservation Policy Building Toolkit that can be shared.

This mashup will:

  • Provide a forum for practical problem solving for analysis of digital collection
  • Provide a forum for discussion, review and development of digital preservation policy
  • Bring together developers and collection owners from across the DPC and OPF to address shared challenges
  • Extend and enhance the corpus of digital preservation tools
  • Deliver a simple beginners’ guide for the development of digital preservation policies

This event will be of interest to:

  • Collections managers, librarians, curators and archivists and policy makers in all institutions with an interest in digital preservation
  • Techies, tools developers, IT officers, database managers and systems analysts with an interest in long term data management
  • Innovators and researchers digital preservation
  • Vendors and providers of digital preservation services
  • CEO’s CTO’s and CIO’s seeking to develop institutional capacity for digital preservation

Everyone coming needs to bring a lap top computer.  In addition:

  • Collection owners will need to bring a data set that is giving them trouble in terms of characterisation or identification and be prepared to present their institutional policy on digital preservation
  • Techies will need to tell us about the skills they have and bring a knowledge of existing digital forensic and characterisation tools

Also, because elements of the mash-up include peer-review of existing practice, participants need to understand and consent to working under ‘Chatham House Rules’ for parts of the programme.

Places are strictly limited and should be booked in advance.  Priority will be given to DPC and OPF members who can attend at no cost.  Non-members are welcome at a cost of £150 pounds per person. Lunch and refreshments are provided on three days and dinner on the first night.  Accommodation will be recommended but is not included in the cost.  Register online at:

Can’t make it?

Parts of the event will be available as a webcast. We’ll publish the slides after each event and will tweet live from the event using the hashtag #DPnoTears.  

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OPF Webinar - Digital library development and practice at the London School of Economics

This webinar will present a case study of digital preservation and digital library development at the London School of Economics. It will cover the nature of digital library collections we are working with now and a bit about our experiments and future directions for other kinds of born-digital material; the high-level architecture and functional components we have in place, and a discussion about our general approach and what we feel we can avoid having an opinion about for now; discussion of our user experience design process and how we are integrating this way of thinking into other areas of the library like our main website; and a bit about how we made the case to fund digital preservation and the development of our core team and how we involve others within the library.

Session lead: Ed Fay, Digital Library Manager, London School of Economics

Time: 14:00 BST / 15:00 CET

There are 25 places available which will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Registration will open soon.

23 September 2013
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Preservation capabilities: How to assess? How to improve?

Digital Preservation is making certain progress in terms of tool development, progressive establishment of standards and increasing activity in user communities, but there is a wide gap of approaches to systematically assess, compare and improve how organizations go about achieving their preservation goals.