Chris Loftus is Digital Preservation Manager at the University of Sheffield Western Bank Library in the UK

The first International Digital Preservation day allows us an opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones and significant events so far in the implementation of the University of Sheffield’s Digital Preservation programme. The Library became one of the early adopters of Rosetta, a Digital Preservation solution provided by ExLibris, in 2015. Following installation Rosetta was given the Sheffield brand name ArchiveUS and initial priority focussed on developing ingest routes for our valuable digital material; born digital and digitised collections from Special Collections and the National Fairground and Circus Archive.

In September 2016 the University's Festival of the Mind event gave the Library the opportunity to highlight the thinking behind Digital Preservation through a collaboration with local artist Paul Carruthers. ‘Memories in the digital age’ is a triptych film that featured difficult to access footage from the library’s collections. The piece, which was exhibited at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, explored some of the ideas underpinning Digital Preservation; such as the generation and use of digital information and its relationship to memory.

2016 also saw the beginning of a groundbreaking project to integrate ArchiveUS with ORDA, the Library’s research data repository (powered by Figshare). Once in place this link will allow us to offer researchers a full lifetime security guarantee for their precious data.

In collaboration with ExLibris, the University was honoured to co-host the the 2017 Rosetta Advisory Group meeting (RAG), in June, the first time the event has taken place in the UK. Thought leaders on Digital Preservation from nine different countries travelled to Sheffield for the two day event entitled ‘Celebrating 10 Years of Rosetta: The Future Awaits!’ Delegates heard invaluable reports on developments in Digital Preservation as well as updates and use-cases from global Rosetta customers. Highlights of the conference included keynote speakers William Kilbride from the Digital Preservation Coalition, who discussed the nature of change in the digital environment, and Richard Ovenden, from the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, whose talk covered fake news and dark ads.


For 2018 and beyond we look forward to developing and expanding our digital preservation programme; enabling us to safeguard more varieties of material such as University administrative records, and contributing to a shared White Rose Libraries approach to Digital Preservation with the universities of Leeds and York.

We’d like to use the occasion of #IDPD17 to launch our new web pages. They include a page dedicated to the day, the story of Digital Preservation at Sheffield, why we ALL need Digital Preservation as well as some practical tips

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