Added on 1 March 2022

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is deeply concerned by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the ongoing military operations and the escalation of violence that has ensued. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has described these operations as violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, stating plainly that they are inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.  We join him and many other leaders, agencies and colleagues around the world in calling for an immediate cessation.

We encourage the following actions in support of our colleagues in Ukraine:

1. Preserve the record.

The goals of justice, peace and reconciliation are not served when cultural heritage and records are destroyed.  In our generation culture and the record are digital, but the tools of cyberwarfare and misinformation have turned the digital estate into a theatre of war.   Every step should be taken to preserve the record.  We call for respect for international law, notably the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, and call for restraint from attacks on, or harm to, institutions and individuals charged with the preserving the record.

2. Support institutions on the ground

We express our support and offer our resources and skills to agencies in Ukraine, especially to the Central State Electronic Archive of Ukraine (ЦДЕА України) the State Archive Service of Ukraine, the N.A. Vernadsky National Library, the State Cinema, Photo and Audio Archives of Ukraine and to all other established archives, libraries and institutions preserving and collecting the culture and history of Ukraine, as well as those managing and preserving records of the conflict.

3. Listen to Ukrainian communities.

Digital preservation supports access, use and impact.  It empowers communities and individuals so long as it listens and responds to their needs and interests.  We call on all agencies involved in the preservation of Ukrainian culture to establish and strengthen links with Ukrainian community groups and representatives so that their voices and perspectives lead and inform curatorial decisions.

4. Support fellow professionals.

We seek opportunities to sustain and support professional colleagues.  We can do this by empowering current and emerging professionals in Ukraine as well as those now in exile with access to training, opportunities for travel, hosting, networking and knowledge exchange.  We encourage our members, and agencies around the world, to support our Ukrainian colleagues in these and similar ways.

5. Protect the community.

DPC is an open and welcoming community, and we operate under an explicit Policy of Inclusion and Diversity. Welcome is our default; but we reserve the right to withdraw our invitation to agencies and individuals who engage in acts of aggression or violent intimidation. Our community must be free to pursue its goals without coercion or threat. Therefore, where necessary we will exclude hostile agencies and individuals from participation in our programmes.

In making this comment we align and amplify the messages of many colleagues around the world including:

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