Heikki Helin

Heikki Helin

Last updated on 4 November 2020

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

Two years ago, on WDPD2018, we wrote a kind of a status report about national digital preservation service in Finland. A lot has happened since then. As today is the 5th anniversary of our digital preservation service in production (yes, exactly today), it’s perhaps a time to give a short overview of what has happened since.

Back in 2018, we provided the preservation service only for the national cultural heritage sector, but during 2019 this was extended to also include research data (national universities, research institutes, etc.). All this within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. This, obviously, increased the number of our potential partner organisations significantly, and especially the potential amount of data to be preserved. At the end of 2018, we had preserved about 200 terabytes of data, but today the number is roughly one petabyte. The amount of data is growing on an average of 1.2 terabytes per day, with data flowing in constantly 24/7.

From a purely preservation viewpoint, there are no big differences between cultural heritage materials and research data. It is just data to be preserved; maybe in some different file formats, right? Well, yes and no. In the cultural heritage sector, our partner organisations are mainly large national institutions that have resources for curating the data to be preserved. In the research sector, on the other hand, we could be talking about a small research project that needs to preserve their data, with very little or no resources to do this. Certainly, their institutions always back up these research projects, but the picture is still quite different from the cultural heritage sector. To solve this challenge, we have built a system in which a research project can propose to preserve a dataset. However, only the underlying institute can approve a dataset for preservation, within their quota limits. 

Two years ago, we also wrote about collaboration, which is essential for successful preservation. This is still very much true. During these two years, we have increased national collaboration in many ways, and increased collaboration on the Nordic level. Further, we are now also a member of OPF. 

Mukavaa maailman digitaalisen pitkäaikaissäilytyksen päivää kaikille!

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