English Heritage

Added on 29 September 2009

We are delighted to announce that English Heritage has become the latest organisation to join the Digital Preservation Coalition as an associate member.

English Heritage is the lead body for the conservation of England’s historic environment. The research and documentation which EH carries out and which it funds in the wider sector to support this remit is increasingly created and disseminated in digital formats, sometimes using techniques which are at the cutting edge of new technologies. It is crucial that this work remains accessible to future generations so that it can continue to inform understanding and management of the historic environment.

Mike Evans, Head of Archives for the English Heritage National Monuments Record, explained, 'Over 18.5 Tb of data is held by the National Monuments Record and very large volumes of data collected or funded by EH are held on local servers or curated by third parties.

'In an era in which the study and the management of the past around us depends more and more on digital tools and communication, we believe that the work of the Coalition and its members can help EH make a real contribution to safeguarding the collective memory of the historic environment sector

'We're very pleased to be joining the Digital Preservation Coalition.'

Bruno Longmore, Acting Chair of the DPC and Head of Government for the National Archives of Scotland, welcomed English Heritage to the coalition.

'Our members represent very diverse agencies, in public and professional practice. This is not surprising: the challenge of long term and reliable access to data is one that many organisations face. By joining, English Heritage have not only got access to the resources and support of the coalition to help face that challenge, but they have also clearly signalled that they are serious about working to resolve this challenge.'

Full List of Members

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News from our partners

Added on 1 October 2009

The DPC is not responsible for the content of remote websites. If you are a DPC member and would like to syndicate content to this page please contact us.

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DPC Leadership Programme funds six member scholarships for Digital Preservation Training Programme

Added on 14 October 2009

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has awarded six scholarships so that members can attend the Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) in London in October.

‘We wrote to our members in August offering three scholarships that meet the costs of attendance at the next session of the programme’, explained Bruno Longmore, Chair of the DPC.  ‘The judging panel was so impressed by the scale and quality of the response that they asked if we could extend the number of grants available. Given the clear evidence of demand and given how hard it can be to find other sources of support we decided to take the unusual step of funding three additional places.’

The following were selected by a small panel of judges which met to review the unexpectedly large number of applications submitted:

  • Joy Ardill of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
  • Ceri Forster of the Society of Archivists working in the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
  • Polly Parry of the Natural History Museum
  • Sarah Philips of RLUK working in Cardiff University
  • Anusha Ranganathan of Oxford University Library Service
  • Shane Start of the British Library
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DPC Response to Digital Britain: The Interim Report

DPC promotes long term access in Digital Britain.

Full DPC Response to Digital Britain: The Interim Report (March 2009)


  1. The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is a not-for profit membership organisation whose primary objective is to raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. It acts as an enabling and agenda-setting body within the digital preservation world and works to meet this objective through a number of high level goals. Its vision is to make our digital memory accessible tomorrow.
  2. The Digital Preservation Coalition welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Digital Britain Interim Report.  We seek opportunities to work more closely with the Digital Britain team in refining and delivering the digital strategy that their Interim Report delineates.
  3. We support the broad conclusions of the Interim Report in identifying the essential architecture of the government’s digital strategy.  In particular we note the considerable contribution that production and re-use of digital content makes to the British economy. We are encouraged in our response by the Government’s previously stated view that the contribution of the creative industries to the UK economy must move from the margins to the mainstream of economic policy.
  4. In summary, our response is to call for greater clarity and consideration of digital legacy, especially where this pertains to content.  This can be achieved through greater collaboration between the producers of content and those memory institutions – principally but not exclusively data services, archives, museums and libraries – charged with curating and preserving this generation’s digital legacy.
  5. It is our contention that appropriate consideration of the long-term of digital content will deliver long-term competitive advantage into the UK economy.
  6. We seek opportunities for knowledge transfer between those who already have skills in the long term curation and preservation of digital content (such as the DPC membership) and the creative industries producing new content.

Digital networks

1. We note and welcome attention paid to the development of a new generation of network infrastructure for the UK.  The extension and embedding of high capacity networks for home and business are as essential to the development of the economy.

2. The value of high quality digital content will increase as access to it becomes easier. The transformation of network capacity implies a concomitant growth in the consumption creation and re-use of digital content.  This presents an opportunity and challenge for the long-term.

3. The proliferation of new content suppliers means that the UK will need to be more sophisticated and more widely skilled in the curation and preservation of digital content if it is to have a lasting impact on the economy.  So, in parallel with the expansion of the network, the UK requires to build capacity for preservation and curation of digital content.

4. This can in part be achieved through refinement and planned investment in the skills and resources required to preserve digital content. We believe that this represents an opportunity for knowledge transfer from DPC members to the creators of digital content.

5. We note that paradigm shifts in broadcasting have historically been moments of unplanned loss of content.  We call for broadcasters to examine the risks to content in their planning for migration to new platforms.

Digital Content

6. We note and welcome the attention paid to issues surrounding digital content, especially the discussions about the creation of digital content.

7. We note, in the words of the Blue Ribbon Task force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access , that ‘access to data tomorrow requires decisions concerning preservation today’ (2008, 1).

8. Experience shows that preservation and curation of digital content is facilitated by early intervention.  Dependable access can to some extent be built in at the point of creation, while digital archaeology is expensive and impractical on the large scale.  In short digital legacy planning ought to become business as usual.

9. We believe that there is an opportunity for meaningful knowledge transfer between DPC members and the creators of content to enhance the durability of their content.

10. The effective exploitation of intellectual property happens over decades not years.  Consequently, we believe the report’s ambitions to provide greater clarity for intellectual property management needs to be positioned in a framework where the content remains fit for purpose over decades.

11. While the DPC has no particular view on the detail of the intellectual property issues in the report, it is keen to ensure that intellectual property laws do not act as a barrier to appropriate preservation activities.

12. Consideration must be given to the rights, responsibilities and legal protections of those engaged in the long term preservation of our digital heritage.

13. We note and welcome the discussion of new business models for digital content. This underlines the importance of effective exploitation of legacy content to create revenue streams. This is facilitated by more careful consideration of long-term access.

14. While we want businesses to thrive, we call for more effective planning to support preservation and access to digital resources from businesses that fail.

Universal Connectivity

15. We note and welcome the aspiration that everyone in the UK should be able to participate in the digital economy.  We note again the implication for content creation and distribution and what this means for ensuring a cultural legacy (see point 8-10).

Equipping everyone to benefit

16. We note and welcome the concern with digital skills articulated in the Interim Report.

17. We note that digital preservation is a relatively new discipline.  Better long-term planning and exploitation of digital content will best be achieved by investing in people, specifically by ensuring that the right parts of the workforce have access to appropriate training and career paths.

18. The UK has made a significant contribution in the development of digital preservation and curation. This contribution provides a competitive advantage for the creative industries and cultural heritage sector, and creates an opportunity for knowledge transfer between DPC members and content creators.

Blue Ribbon Task force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access (2008) Sustaining the Digital Investment: Issues and Challenges of Economically Sustainable Digital Preservation (Interim Report)

William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition
March 2009

PDF of Full DPC Response to Digital Britain: The Interim Report (March 2009) (70KB)

More information and the full Digital Britain: The Interim Report can be found at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/what_we_do/broadcasting/5631.aspx

The Digital Britain discussion site: http://www.digitalbritainforum.org.uk/

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Short-Term Memory and Web Usability (from OCLC)

Added on 7 December 2009

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, December 7, 2009

SUMMARY: "Designing for cavemen." That's how Nielsen describes his approach toward Web design that takes into account human limitations in short-term memory (for instance, the average human brain can hold only seven chunks of information at a time and these fade from memory within 20 seconds). Check out the article for some suggestions on how to create menus that are manageable (too short is almost as bad as too long) and create a common sense Web navigation strategy that makes the most of those precious 20 seconds.

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The Content Strategist as Digital Curator (from OCLC)

Added on 8 December 2009

A List Apart, December 8, 2009 

SUMMARY: Feeding the Web. Our Web sites are important assets and curating them is an essential part of our overall organizational strategy. Balancing timely and timeless content, using analytics to better understand users' needs and managing the conversation flow are the building blocks for success in any business. Read on for more reasons not to skimp on Web site management when it's budget time.

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National Heritage Science Strategy

National Heritage Science Strategy Consultation

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on Science and Heritage called for the production of a new National Heritage Science Strategy, a task that is now being taken forward by the National Heritage Science Strategy Steering Group.  Work has progressed in four packages: at the time of writing 3 reports have been released for consultation and a fourth document - the strategy iteslf is in development.

The DPC has responded to this consultation observing that digital resources constitute a heritage which is worthy of preservation, and that developments in heritage science in relation to digital heritage will be better served where they are aligned with existing and forthcoming initiatives.

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DPC - Planets Workshop February 2010

Added on 19 December 2009

DPC members have a free priority booking for day one of Digital Preservation the Planets Way in London on 9th Feb (normal price 95 Euros) and a discount for days two and three (DPC price 145 Euros, normally 199Euros). For more details see the attached announcement.

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Dates Confirmed for Digital preservation Roadshow in Aberystwyth (22/1/10 and Cardiff (15/02/10)

Added on 21 December 2009

The DPC, Society of Archivists and CyMAL are pleased to announce the next (and final) stops for the Digital Preservation Roadshow - the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth on 22/1/10) and Glamorgan Archives in Cardiff (15/02/10). For details including programme and registration, see the booking form on the Welsh Assembly Government website.

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