DSpace User Group Meeting 2007
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Peter Ruijgrok

Digital Preservation strategy University of Utrecht

University of Utrecht

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     Last modified: October 12, 2007

In the Netherlands all University Libraries work together in a federation under the umbrulla of the UKB (Universities and Royal Dutch Library). Over the past 4 years the Dutch repository infrastructure is designed and implemented under the umbrulla of the SURF organisation within a nationwide project called DARE. This presentation will demonstrate what preservation actions are taken by local universities and what is arranged as joined services for all universities in the Netherlands.

Digital Preservation is one of the long-term key-aspects of repositories to ensure a repository is trustworthy. At the moment this aspect does not have the attention in the community it should get. Almost all repository owners focus on acquisition, ingestion an dissemination of materials (publications) and postpone the problem of Digital Preservation to the future.

The presentation will cover the following topics:

- Why digital preservation is important
People deposit their research result in repositories and have expectations about the services provided. Quite often they expect that the materials are stored in a safe place, can be referred to from other locations and will be available 10 or 20 years from now in a readable format. To meet such expectations the repository owners must take measures to ensure that the expectations are met. If items are disappearing or become unreadable than depositors (researchers!) will loose faith in the repository and that will reduce the impact repositories have.

- What are the requirements for Digital Preservation
Besides assuring that data is not lost also the usability of the data must be ensured. Looking at the evolution of word processors (from Word Perfect 1.0 to Word 2007 and from VisiCalc to Excell 2007) clearly shows that assuming upward compatiblity is not justified.

- What are the riscs you want to address
A brief overview of Drambora , a risc assesment methodology, will be given

- Digital Preservation strategy
The Digital Preservation strategy and solution for the Utrecht University is developped in close cooperation with the (DARE) federation of Universitities in the Netherlands
The backup strategy of the university will be explained, with special attention to the solution to enable restoring objects from backups made from older versions of Dspace into the current Dspace version or into another flavour of repository software (like ePrints, Fedora, self-developped solution). For file-format preservation all universitities have setup a contractual cooperation with the Universities and the Royal Dutch Library will be presented.

- Requirements Digital Preservation for future versions of Dspace
Based on the experience with Dspace and the requirements for Digital Preservation an overview will be given of critical features Dspace should get in order to better support Digital Preservation for the long term.

About the University of Utrecht
The University of Utrecht is is a very large university with 28.000 students,8.000 employees, 640 professors and 240 professors by special appiontment. The library is the owner of the University-wide Dspace repository and has a department (Igitur) for Digital Publishing. Every day new items are ingested, resulting today in a repository of over 20.000 items and a total storage of over 600GB.

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