Heikki Helin

Heikki Helin

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Heikki Helin is Senior Technology Coordinator for Digital Preservation Services at CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd in Espoo, Finland

Back in 2008, the National Digital Library of Finland (NDL) initiative was formed within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. The initiative aimed at creating a nationally unified structure for contents and services ensuring the effective and high-quality management, dissemination, and especially digital preservation of cultural digital information resources. The basis for the NDL was formed by libraries, archives and museums (partner organisations).

In the early days of the NDL, it was decided that a centralized and shared digital preservation service should be created. It was estimated that common infrastructure and services reduces costs, increases system integration, strengthens cooperation, and brings the practices of partner organisations closer together. Besides technical solutions, the collaboration between partner organisations was an essential goal of the NDL.

During the next years, the Ministry of Education and Culture, CSC – IT Center for Science, and partner organisations — in tight co-operation — designed a national digital preservation service, which suits the needs of all cultural heritage sectors.  This fruitful collaboration resulted in national digital preservation specifications and eventually in the national digital preservation service. The first AIP was created on November 5th, 2015 (to be precise, the preservation responsibility of this AIP changed at 10:14 AM).

The NDL initiative ended in 2017, but the collaboration continues since partner organisations have recognised the importance of collaboration. Further, our digital preservation service is sustainably developed and maintained. Currently, we have preserved more than a million AIPs and the number of partner organisations preserving their digital content in the common preservation service grows constantly.

On November 5th 2018, we organised a national digital preservation seminar to celebrate the three-year anniversary of preserving data in our service. The seminar, entitled “Yhteistyöllä kestävää digitaalista pitkäaikaissäilytystä” (Collaboration as a Key to Sustainable Digital Preservation), focused on the collective effort needed to produce a sustainable digital preservation service. In order to broaden our national viewpoint and in addition to national presentations at the seminar, we invited a digital preservation experts from Europe, namely William Kilbride (Digital Preservation Coalition), Barbara Sierman (National Library of the Netherlands), and Monika Zarnitz (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics), to give a general idea on how methods for collaboration in digital preservation have been developed in other countries and what Finland can learn from them. This international scope was very useful as it was followed by a national panel consisting some of our partner organisations, discussing the collaboration in a national level.  

Given all this, it is clear that collaboration for successful digital preservation is essential, and it should be broadened even more. There might be slightly different approaches to collaboration, but still it is very important, no matter in what shape.

Antoisaa maailman digitaalisen pitkäaikaissäilytyksen päivää kaikille!

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