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Community archives & digital preservation – Breaking down barriers

John Pelan

John Pelan

Last updated on 3 November 2021

John Pelan is the Director of the Scottish Council on Archives


The digital archives of community groups were added to the DPC’s Bit List under ‘Critically Endangered’ in 2019 due to a number of identified aggravating conditions. These included: poor documentation; lack of continuity funding; dependence on small number of volunteers, conflation of backup with preservation; and distrust of official agencies, e.g., local authorities and national collecting bodies.

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Hello, World! Welcome to the first Digital Preservation at Cambridge University Libraries (CUL) post

Caylin Smith

Caylin Smith

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Caylin Smith is Head of Digital Preservation at Cambridge University Library.


This post was originally published on the Cambridge University Libraries Digital Preservation blog and can be found at this URL: https://digitalpreservation-blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/hello-world-fa267483a86d

Welcome to the first Digital Preservation at Cambridge University Libraries (CUL) post!

CUL is a network of libraries at the University of Cambridge comprised of Cambridge University Library, the main research library for the University, as well as faculty and departmental libraries.

Digital preservation is incredibly important to the Libraries. This discipline is fundamentally about ensuring access to digital materials for as long as necessary — and that’s what staff working in this area at CUL help achieve for digital materials created or acquired for library collections. We’re keen to share news of what we’re working on because the impact of our digital preservation work will extend right across these libraries.

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Lloyds Banking Group: The Dark Horse goes Digital

Peter Judge

Peter Judge

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Peter Judge is Archivist for the Lloyds Banking Group Archives & Museum


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Prior to 2020 at Lloyds Banking Group Archives we had been making plans to digitise parts of our collections. Then, like so many other organisations, we found ourselves in a situation where lockdown restrictions were limiting our access to the archives. Given how much of our work is tied to a physical space, this added extra impetus to our plans for digitisation.

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Audiovisual Preservation at Wellcome Collection

Christy Henshaw

Christy Henshaw

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Christy Henshaw is Digital Production Manager at Wellcome Collection in London


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Wellcome Collection, like many archives, has a tape problem. Video or audio, good condition or bad, tape archives present a major challenge for preservation and access. We hold hundreds of unique and distinctive works on tape formats, and regularly acquire more through our acquisition programme.

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Digital preservation: locking and unlocking the lasting value of digital content

Sue Trombley

Sue Trombley

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Sue Trombley is the Managing Director of Thought Leadership at Iron Mountain.


Modern civilisation is becoming more and more defined by the rapid evolution of technology, and its equally rapid obsolescence. The cultural heritage we create for future generations now largely exists in the form of ones and zeros found in myriad formats and in countless data storage systems. On top of that is the fact that we generate exponentially greater volumes of data every year.

When it comes to physical media, a book that is centuries old is fundamentally the same as one we print and publish today, and if preserved properly, is equally accessible today. When it comes to digital media, however, it is a very different matter. Devices and formats have changed almost beyond recognition in the last couple of decades, many are wholly incompatible with one another and many files can no longer be read due to platform obsolescence. This gap will only widen if we fail to pay attention to the importance of digital preservation in enabling lasting value.

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3D scanning and virtual reality environments at the University of Bristol.

Emma Hancox

Emma Hancox

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Emma Hancox is Digital Archivist at the University of Bristol.


As well as digitising two dimensional materials, at the University of Bristol we have been experimenting with three-dimensional scanning methods. We are actively engaged in digital preservation and the creation of 3D scans creates its own set of challenges. In terms of access, we have started working on ways of increasing interaction with the 3D models we create breaking down barriers, giving our collections a wider reach and unlocking their potential in the long-term.

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Isolated Together: Virtual Collaboration for the Advancement of Open Source Digital Preservation Tools

Charlotte Armstrong

Charlotte Armstrong

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Charlotte Armstrong is Project officer for the Open Preservation Foundation


In 2020, amid a global pandemic that isolated many people from their professional communities, the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF)’s Spring Hackathon brought together an international group of contributors to enhance open source digital preservation tools and documentation relied on by digital preservation practitioners around the world. 

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Long-term sustainability: what does it REALLY mean for your digital content?

Jon Tilbury

Jon Tilbury

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Jon Tilbury is Chief Innovation Officer at Preservica


Institutions and individuals working in Digital Preservation are rightly concerned about the long-term sustainability of the technology or service providers they trust to look after their material. However, the meaning of “sustainability” is much broader than often appreciated.

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Keeping it FAIR: Providing Access to Reusable Data at the Archaeology Data Service

Olivia Foster

Olivia Foster

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Olivia Foster is Digital Archives Officer at the Archaeology Data Service in York, UK


Staff at the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) have been busy over the last year archiving the data deposited with us, collaborating with partners and rolling out the new OASIS online archaeological reporting system. Digital preservation is one of the core activities of the ADS and as a digital archive we preserve and make publicly accessible archaeological and heritage data in our archives and the ADS library.

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The National Archive’s new Transfer Digital Records Service: The Hard Drive forward

KIRSTEN ARNOLD

KIRSTEN ARNOLD

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Kirsten Arnold is Service Owner for Digital Selection and Transfer at The National Archives in the UK


Hi. I’m the Service Owner for Digital Selection and Transfer (DST), working within Digital Archiving at The National Archives (TNA). DST works closely with records creators to help them understand, provide advice and facilitate the transfer of their selected digital public records to The National Archives. These record creators specifically are public record bodies, and in the main UK government departments.

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