15 July 2015 | 11:00 - 16:30 Oxford | Weston Library, University of Oxford


The Digital Preservation Coalition and the Open Preservation Foundation, with support from the European Commission and the PREFORMA Project, cordially invite members to a briefing day on preserving PDF at Oxford University on Wednesday 15th July 2015.

PDF is a ubiquitous format for publishing and sharing digital documents. It provides a useful tool for dissemination and because it is designed to ensure that the look and feel of documents does not change from one environment to the next it seems like a promising basis for the preservation of documents. But it also introduces a variety of preservation challenges for those working to preserve digital information for the long term. For example there are numerous tools to help create PDFs means many of which introduce their own subtle variations to the standard. Browsers have become increasingly tolerant of these eccentricities. That helps users in the short term but makes validation harder in the long run. How are organisations beginning to address these and other issues? What makes a PDF a PDF and how can repository managers tell the difference? And what can we do as a community to solve the PDF preservation problem? These are just some of the questions this briefing day will seek to answer.

This briefing day will include an introduction to a new initiative that aims to tackle the complexities of PDF Preservation head on. The VeraPDF Consortium has been funded by the Preforma Project to develop a comprehensive PDF/A validation tool and policy checker. This will ultimately provide a definitive take on PDF/A compliance whilst also acting as a method of identifying PDF characteristics that pose a risk to long term preservation. Participants at the briefing day will have a chance to find out what VeraPDF plans to deliver. More importantly they will also have an opportunity to contribute to its design.

The full programme is yet to be finalised but speakers will include Betsy Fanning, author of the DPC’s forthcoming 2nd edition Technology Watch Report ‘Preserving with PDF/a’, Johan van der Knijff from the National Library of the Netherlands, Carl Wilson from the Open Preservation Foundation, Ange Albertini, author of Corkami.com, and Tim Evans from the Archaeology Data Service.

Priority registration is available for DPC and OPF members until the 1st July, at which point non-members will be able to register for remaining places.

Who should come?

This briefing day will interest:

  • Collections managers, librarians, curators, archivists in memory institutions
  • Repository managers in higher education and research institutions
  • CIOs and CTOs in organisations with commercial intellectual property
  • Records managers and business analysts with requirements for long-lived data or legacy systems
  • Vendors and developers with digital preservation and EDRMS solutions
  • Researchers with interests e-infrastructure and digital preservation
  • Developers with expertise in PDF and related document formats


1100 Registration open, tea and coffee

1115 Webinar opens

1130 Welcome and Introductions - William Kilbride (Digital Preservation Coalition)

1135 An introduction to PDF - Sarah Higgins (Aberystwyth University)

1150 Understanding PDF risks in preservation - Johan van der Knijff (National Library of the Netherlands)

1230 Break for lunch

1330 PDF: Myths vs facts - Ange Albertini (Corkami)

1410 Preserving PDF at the coalface - Tim Evans (Archaeology Data Service)

1450- Introducing veraPDF - Carl Wilson (Open Preservation Foundation)

1530 PDF tech watch report - Betsy Fanning (Association for Information and Image Management)

1600 Forum - Preserving PDF

1630 Close


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