Added on 8 July 2022

The DPC joins with its partners the Australian Library and Information Association and Australian Society of Archivists in expressing concern for the long sustainability of the distinctive and extensive digital archives of the ABC at a time when its professional capability in archiving and cataloguing face being downgraded.

‘Twenty years of experience of DPC members tells us that digital collections cannot be left on a shelf and then remain available for re‑use in the future’ explained Robin Wright of the DPC. ‘On the contrary digital materials need continuous and careful oversight if they are to be usable in the long term’.

‘We used to worry about a digital dark age’, explained William Kilbride who has worked in digital preservation for more than 25 years, ’but over my career a growing digital preservation community have devised and perfected the skills and techniques that can ensure continued access to collections like those at ABC, allowing them to realise the very long-term value of such significant unique collections’.

The DPC was brought into existence precisely to support agencies like the ABC to deliver a sustainable digital legacy. Good practice management of digital collections requires a well-trained workforce capable of responding to a rapidly changing technical and social environment in a way that incorporates high quality practices, industry standards, and processes.

The value of professionally trained librarians and archivists within this process cannot be overstated.

This fast-moving area needs expert staff, alongside effective technologies and workflows, to ensure that digital collections are robust enough to support an organisation’s mission in perpetuity and avoid information loss. This is particularly important at this moment in history when concerns about AI, machine learning and automated record generation have revealed the potential for biased, incorrect or incomplete data to weaken digital collections and the social processes they support if they are not managed through appropriate industry standards and practices. [see IFLA Statement on Libraries and Artificial Intelligence]

The Digital Preservation Coalition is a membership organisation established in 2002 as a collaboration between a group of agencies with digital collections in the UK and Ireland. It now has over 130 members around the world who work to ensure that our digital memory will be accessible tomorrow. The organisation operates globally with its operations in Australasia and Asia-Pacific directed from Melbourne, Australia. The DPC’s members include archives, universities, cultural institutions, broadcasters, and companies with a joint vision to ensure our worldwide digital legacy.

The DPC supports members to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services. It helps to derive enduring value from digital assets and raise awareness of the strategic, cultural, and technological challenges faced with digital preservation.

The DPC exists to support the effective preservation of our worldwide digital legacy into the future and to assist organisations to ensure that their digital collections will be able to serve organisations and their communities both now and into the future.


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