Digital preservation is a very hot topic in the world of digital heritage and many people are talking about it. Some organisations have a strategy in place and are in the process of digitally preserving their assets in some shape or form. And others are not sure if they need to implement digital preservation at all. The pointers below will help you determine if you need to do something.
1. Remote access
An increasing need for remote access to the physical items in your collections. This could be part of your institutional requirements for providing wider access to the items in your collections or it could be, for example, to provide access to physical objects through digitisation processes.
2. Backup window
An increasing number of digital files that are being stored on expensive storage media such as disc that are also sitting in your backup window. Digitally preserving these files will reduce your costs and save you money – and this could be a significant part of your overall institutional data policy as well as being part of your digital preservation strategy.
3. Expensive physical storage
Dwindling availability of convenient and low-cost storage facilities and / or space due to the rising costs of storing physical artefacts in convenient and accessible local facilities – locations that are ideally local to your institution. The availability of digitised and digitally preserved renditions of your assets could enable the originals to be located in less accessible and therefore less expensive storage.
4. Degrading artefacts
Objects and artefacts that are fragile and / or degrading to the point when they are becoming increasingly hard to access (magnetic audio tape for example) or where the ability to maintain the hardware on which the asset can be accessed and used is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.
5. Availability and authenticity
A strategic desire, need or requirement to guarantee the accessibility, availability and authenticity of heritage assets for generations to come / far into the future. This could be driven by academic, public, legal or regulatory requirements or simply to provide wider public access via your website.
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