DPC Partnership and Sustainability Program

Added on 15 July 2020

The DPC is deepening its commitment to help members in a time of crisis.

From 1st August 2020, the DPC is launching a new support program in anticipation of the economic pressures that members are likely to face from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

As we have moved through the phases of COVID-19 pandemic, the DPC has responded swiftly and thoughtfully at each step: closing our offices before the lockdown began, moving all our operations online, launching a wealth of new resources, and opening up a new series of activities for members and partners around the Globe.  We have delivered – and in many ways exceeded - the commitment that we made that our members would leave the lockdown better connected and better skilled.  The DPC community is much greater than the sum of its parts, and members contribute much more than money to the cause.

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Preserving Semi-Current Records: A DPC Briefing Day

The DPC invites you to join us for this briefing day on the challenges of preserving semi-current or semi-active digital records. Speakers from a range of backgrounds will describe the practical issues and strategies for preserving these kinds of digital records and data in context of their organization. Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers and add to the discussion to learn from each other how different organizations are taking on these challenges.


This briefing day will explore the challenges around the preservation of semi-current or semi-active digital records. It will look at practical issues with real-life examples of organizations that have taken on these challenges to preserve and future proof the data they hold.

While records life-cycle models commonly refer to semi-current or semi-active records as those still of use to an organisation but only occasionally and so may be stored remotely with records centres, this briefing day looks more broadly at digital records and data that are still in active (but perhaps infrequent) use but also need to be preserved for the future.

The day will cover common concerns shared across sectors working with this kind of digital record situated in the semi-current or semi-active stage of the life-cycle. Speakers from different organizations will also share case studies of the specific challenges they have come across and what they are doing to address them. The day will conclude with a talk on collaboration and work of the EDRMS task force, followed by a panel discussion and time for final questions.

Some of the considerations raised during the day include

  • What is this type of record at your institution: Is it a ‘simple’ document, a complex data structure, or something in between?

  • Where should these semi-current/active records be kept (an existing records management system, another intermediate storage system or platform, a digital archive)?

  • How can you best ensure the longevity of these records and that people can still access them (and, if appropriate, add to them)?

  • What tools, measures, and means are used to ensure the technical and intellectual survival of the records over time?

  • When should you transfer semi-current/active records to a digital archive?

  • How should systems be designed and implemented for proper transfer and storage?

  • What is future proofing and how does it relate to the preservation of semi-current/active records and data?

Watch the Recordings (please log in to view the recordings)

Remember that you can follow us live on Twitter using the hashtag #DPCSemiCurrent

DPC Inclusion and Diversity Policy

The DPC Community is guided by the values set out in our Strategic Plan and aims to be respectful, welcoming, inclusive and transparent. It encourages diversity in all its forms and is committed to being accessible to everyone who wishes to engage with the topic of digital preservation. The DPC asks all those who are part of this community and/or attending a DPC event be positive, accepting, and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others in alignment with our DPC Inclusion & Diversity Policy .

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What is digital preservation?

This page provides definitions and explanations for anyone new to digital preservation who would like to take practical steps forward in sustaining their digital assets

I'm new to digital preservation, what is it?

The Digital Preservation Handbook provides the following definition:

Digital Preservation Refers to the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary  ...(digital preservation) refers to all of the actions required to maintain access to digital materials beyond the limits of media failure or technological and organisational change.

Without frequent attention, digital content is at the mercy of many different risks, such as :

  • Rapid technological change may leave content unusable or unintelligable as the software that interprets it becomes obsolete.
  • Without committed resources, the storage and management of digital content will not be possible.
  • Organizational change might leave digital content without a committed custodian. Digital preservation requires a series of actions over time to ensure digital content remains alive, discoverable, accessible and usable.
  • For more information see the DPC's Bit List of digitally endanged species.

Typical digital preservation activities to address these risks might include:

  • Maintaining a register of digital content that records where data is stored, what it's purpose is and who is responsible for it
  • Developing policy and process to guide the acquisition, preservation and provision of access to digital content
  • Maintaining multiple copies of digital content to provide insurance against loss
  • Frequently checking the integrity of digital content to ensure it has not decayed or become damaged
  • Examining digital content to understand it's characteristics, assessing it for preservation risks and taking action to mitigate those risks

Digital preservation is usually delivered most effectively in a dedicated repository that provides specialist functionality to meet digital preservation requirements. However, the technology is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting effective organizational engagement and ensuring appropriate resourcing for the long-term, are often the biggest challenges.

Ultimately, digital preservation is about making an investment in properly managing digital assets with common sense, consistency and an attention to detail. Careful planning for digital preservation will safeguard your assets and avoid the need for costly intervention further down the line.

Read more in this two page primer: What is digital preservation?

Why does digital preservation matter?

Vast amounts of information are produced as a matter of course during our daily lives. Some of it is temporary or transient, but much has a longer term value. Without attention it may be lost, incurring costs in it's regeneration or preventing it's future value from being realised. Digital assets might be cultural - data that enriches our lives. They might be the record of scientific research, where there is significant benefit in being able to share, reproduce, verify and build on past work. They could take the form of business data that can drive forward revenue generation. They might be the record of government, where the statements of our political representatives are part of the public record. Or they might just be the digital information we create as part of our own lives, from our holiday snaps to our email and social media conversations. Preserving this digital record has the potential to enrich our lives, to advance science, to support the economy, to underpin democracy and hold politicians to account, and to ensure our personal digital lives can be passed on to the next generation.

Read more in the Digital Preservation Handbook: Why digital preservation matters.

Find out how to communicate what digital preservation is to senior managment.

What about digitisation, is it the same thing?

No! Digital preservation typically refers to the preservation of digital content over time. Digitisation is a related discipline that focuses on creating digital content from non-digital mediums, such as paper or analogue sound recordings. This is quite an involved process in itself, with it's own dedicated best practice (for example see Impact). Note however that when creating new digital content, it's important to plan for how it will be preserved over time. A common mistake with many digitisation activities has been a lack of forward thinking and planning for maintaining and sustaining the results of these activities.

How do I get started in digital preservation?

Getting started in digital preservation is not straightforward! It's a complex and multi-faceted challenge and can be overwhelming. But help is at hand, and these are some suggestions on where to start:

  1. The DPC's Digital Preservation Handbook is the ultimate guide to digital preservation, providing primers on all the key topics and a multitude of links to further information. It's the best place to begin to learn about digital preservation good practice and begin taking some small practical steps forward.
  2. Developing your digital preservation capability will be a challenging journey, so it's important to get your bearings and set off in the right direction! Resources may be limited, so good prioritisation will be essential. Measuring your maturity and setting realistic goals will help immensely. The DPC's Rapid Assessment Model can help you do this in no time at all.
  3. Engaging across an organization and getting them onboard with digital preservation can be a real challenge. What language should you use? How do you engage senior management effectively? How do you put together a digital preservation policy? The DPC's guide to internal advocacy is a great place to start, along with our Executive Guide and Digital Preservation Policy Toolkit.
  4. You've got your organisation on board and you've established a preservation policy, now you need a digital repository to store, manage, preserve and provide access to your digital content. But what are your requirements, and how do you navigate the market place to find the right product for your needs? Check out the DPC Procurement Toolkit.
  5. It's widely acknowledged that no single person or organization can tackle all of the digital preservation challenges on their own. Engaging with and drawing on the support of the wider community is going to be essential. The Digital Preservation Coalition provides a friendly and knowledgeable community of over a hundred organizations. Find out more about joining the DPC.
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Additional Places Available for Novice to Know-How for August, September, and October

Added on 14 July 2020

The DPC is pleased to announce that additional places are now available for the August, September, and October monthly cohorts for the Novice to Know-How course for DPC Members.

The Novice to Know-How learning pathway aims to provide those who are new to Digital Preservation with the skills required to develop and implement simple digital preservation workflows within their organisation.

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Digital Preservation Awards 2020: Meet the Judges

Added on 13 July 2020

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is delighted to introduce its international panel of expert judges for the 2020 Digital Preservation Awards, as nominations remain open for the most prestigious celebration of significant and innovative contributions to securing our digital legacy.

As in 2018, the Digital Preservation Awards expert Judging Panel represents digital preservation interests from all sectors and from around the world.

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Version 1.0 of the Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL) Released

Added on 9 July 2020

The OCFL Editors are pleased to announce version 1.0 of the Oxford Common File Layout, reflecting over 24 months of work by the OCFL Editors and the digital preservation and technology communities.

The initiative originated in September 2017 from informal discussions at a Fedora/Samvera camp in Oxford, UK. These discussions identified the need for a simple, non-proprietary, specified, open-standards approach to the layout of files for the purpose of preservation persistence. Subsequently, a kickoff community meeting attracted 47 attendees from 32 institutions, confirming the need and resulting in the establishment of the OCFL Editors team.

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Styles test

Existing style example How we'd like it to look Change in styles required

Heading 1

Heading 1 font-size: 2.4em

Heading 2

Heading 2 font-size: 1.9em

Heading 3

Heading 3  font-size: 1.7em, remove bold

Heading 4

Heading 4  font-size: 1.5em, remove bold
Heading 5
Heading 5  font-size: 1.3em
Heading 6
Heading 6  font-size: 1.1em
Normal Paragraph Normal Paragraph  No change required

 hotlink not hotlink

 hotlink not hotlink

  • hotlink not hotlink
The hotlinks styles are not consistent between normal paragraphs, bulletted text and text in tables. Hotlinks should be green, bold and the same size as normal paragraph text regardless of where they are. Bulleted and table hotlinks seem to be a different vertical size and omit the bold.


Paragraph of text Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Paragraph of text Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Another heading

Paragraph of text Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

text alignment demo

The spacing between headings and paragraphs is about right, but is in the wrong place. As it stands, there is the same gap between a heading following a paragraph, as there is between a paragraph and the next heading. A heading should be half as close to following paragraph text, but anything preceeding a heading should be half again as far further away. In other words, there should be a smaller gap between a heading and a following paragraph, and a bigger gap between a paragraph and a following heading.

I've tried to show this in the example column with an image, rather than trying to hack the HTML



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Rethinking Digital Preservation in a Time of Crisis – A Collaborative 2-day Online Training Event

The DPC is delighted to be part of ‘Rethinking Digital Preservation in a Time of Crisis’, a collaborative 2-day online training event organised by the Digital Curation Lab, Redeye, and the Photographic Collections Network.

Event background

During the Covid-19 lockdown we all became acutely aware of one of the most essential values of digital preservation: remote access. Most physical collections, libraries, and archives were closed down for several weeks. Working from home is problematic, especially when we keep in mind that we rather than working from home by design or choice, we are actually at home during a crisis trying to work. While not immediately evident, there’s a great difference between these two ways of working from home. In any case, primary access to collections is now digital more than ever. This brings the need for better understanding in digital preservation and the development of skills for digital curation to the fore more than ever before.

About the event

The Digital Curation Lab at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus has teamed up with Redeye and the Photographic Collections Network to offer a 2-day online training and exploration event in collaboration with the Digital Preservation Coalition. The programme contains training sessions from the Digital Preservation Coalition, knowledge sharing conversations in a world café style, and keynote provocations by world-class specialists exploring the strategic and policy side of digital preservation programmes and the curation of digital objects. This event is not limited to the digital preservation of photographs or art objects but will also deal with preserving a wide range of audiovisual materials.


This event is delivered online via Zoom. You are welcome to attend some or all of the events; we are aware that due to homeworking many participants may not be able to attend all the sessions. If you have any enquiries about this please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your participation; propose a conversation

Participants are invited to send in a brief proposal to participate in the world café conversations, outlining examples of good practice, digital preservation issues, and/or other ideas appropriate for sharing with others who may have similar interests. These proposals are to be made at the same time as registration for the two-day event.


Registration is now open through the PCN website at https://www.photocollections.org.uk/events/rethinking-digital-preservation-time-crisis

The event is free of charge and open to members of:


Who is this event for?

  • Anyone working with collections or archives of digital media, in particular if you are seeking to improve your practices, increase access, or set up new digital collections or archives. This can be at any scale from an individual’s archive to large museum or library. 

  • Anyone with issues around preservation or curation of digital material.

  • Anyone whose organisation is concerned with managing digital assets and collections, particularly if you are looking to improve digital preservation policies and programmes.

  • We will concentrate on audio-visual material; similar principles apply to photographs, sound, video, animation and 3D files. There is a focus on born-digital work, but the event should also be relevant to these working with physical objects that have been digitised. 

More information is available on the PCN website: https://www.photocollections.org.uk/events/rethinking-digital-preservation-time-crisis

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5 facts about digital heritage on portable media

Added on 2 July 2020

Almost all heritage institutions have them: CDs, DVDs and floppy discs bearing digital heritage. Unfortunately, at about 40% of the Dutch heritage institutions this material is in danger of being lost, according to a recently published study by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (DDHN). That is … if no action is taken now.

"The information on these CDs and other so-called physical carriers belongs to collections and should therefore be permanently accessible," says Niels Komen, project leader of the DDHN project Endangered Digital Heritage on Portable Media. This spring, his project group conducted research among 150 Dutch heritage institutions.

Niels: "We saw that many heritage institutions don’t really know what to do with floppy disks, CD-ROMs or a hard disk. Sometimes because there is no equipment available to read them, sometimes because the carrier has been damaged over the years. But if action is not taken in time, in many cases the content of the carrier will be lost forever."

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