Preserving repository content: practical steps for repository managers


  • Miggie Pickton
  • Steve Hitchcock
  • Simon Coles
  • Debra Morris
  • Stephanie Meece



OR2010, Digital Preserving and Archiving, Library and information sciences, DDC: 020


Few people would disagree that preservation of repository content is important. Indeed, the stated aim of most repositories is to provide permanent open access to the material therein. Why, then, have so few repositories implemented practical action plans for long term preservation of their content? There could be several reasons. Although a number of preservation tools and services already exist, until now few have addressed the specific needs of repositories; in practical terms they have necessitated action that is additional rather than integral to repository workflow. Repository content is typically highly varied and complex, while descriptive metadata and file formats are used inconsistently and deposited by those without knowledge or expertise in managing digital assets. Busy repository managers with little, if any, experience in digital preservation have lacked time and confidence to tackle what is perceived as an important but complex and scary problem. The JISC-funded KeepIt project is bringing together existing preservation tools and services with appropriate training and advice on preservation strategy, policy, costs, metadata, storage, format management and trust to enable the participating repository managers to formulate practical and achievable preservation plans. From the point of view of the repository manager, this presentation summarises the activities of the KeepIt project, describes the impact that the project has had on the participating repositories, and suggests steps that other repository managers might take to ensure preservation readiness.