What It Takes to Make It Last: E-Resources Preservation: A NISO Webinar

Since pen has been put to paper, memory institutions have been tasked with the responsibility of preserving cultural and intellectual heritage. For centuries, experts have created storage environments that protect tangible materials from decay, while at the same time allowing visitors to access information. Now, thirty years into the digital revolution, it has become clear that preservation policies must expand to include digital content if information is to remain available for future generations. Factors such as media obsolescence, degradation, and server failures have left virtual content in a vulnerable position, and sustainable platforms of preservation must be utilized to prevent information from vanishing without a trace as technology trends shift.

In the past, the preservation of physical collections fell on the shoulders of institutions. It is becoming increasingly apparent that due to the extensive and interconnected nature of the digital universe, electronic preservation efforts must be addressed on a communal instead of institutional level. As a result, experts are engaging in collaborative projects and public discussions to address sustainability challenges presented by digital content. On February 10, 2010, NISO hosted a webinar entitled What it Takes to Make it Last: E-Resources Preservation, which addressed topics relating to digital memory and preservation repositories at academic institutions. Speakers included Priscilla Caplan, Assistant Director for Digital Library Services at the Florida Center for Library Automation, and Jeremy York, Assistant Librarian at the University of Michigan Library. Each presentation provided examples of preservation standards and policies that can be implemented by universities to ensure digital content will remain accessible for years to come. The session was both informative and interesting, and provided participants with ideas regarding how to approach issues of content sustainability.

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