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Top 10 Digital Preservation Developments of 2012

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With 2012 safely behind us, let us praise some of the best things that happened last year in digital preservation. This is something of a tradition for us, as we have previously run down a list for 2011 and 2010.

Bottle Top, by Smabs Sputzer, on Flickr
Bottle Top, by Smabs Sputzer, on Flickr

I cast a wide net and mustered my objectivity in in picking activities with the potential for broad, collaborative impact in the world-wide effort to keep digital material available and accessible over time. The resulting list covers an assortment of practical, hands-on information, as well as tools for helping with outreach, program assessment and research data management.

States of Sustainability: A Review of State Projects funded by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Dr. Cal Lee conducted a review of the four NDIIPP-funded Preserving State Government Information projects, which worked with 35 states to demonstrate different approaches to preserving and making available state government digital information.

Ten recommendations for libraries to get started with research data management: Final report of the LIBER working group on E-Science / Research Data Management. The Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries investigated the role libraries should play in e-Science.

Measuring the Impact of Digital Resources: The Balanced Impact Model. King’s College London issued this report “to provide a compelling account of the means of measuring the impact of digital resources and using evidence to advocate how change benefits people.”

Digital Preservation Awards. The Digital Preservation Coalition presented three awards in 2012:

Personal Digital Archiving Day Kit. NDIIPP developed the kit to enable libraries, archives and other cultural heritage organizations conduct outreach about how best to care for personal digital information. The original release of the kit was to support events in connection with the American Library Association Preservation Week, but the resource is designed to be broadly useful.

The Digital Preservation Network. DPN launched early in 2012 with over 50 members and an intent to enable “higher education to own, maintain and control the scholarly record over time.”

The DataUp Project. The University of California Curation Center at the California Digital Library continued to produce useful tools and services in support of digital preservation with DataUp, “an open source tool helping researchers document, manage, and archive their tabular data… within the scientist’s workflow.”

Demystifying Born Digital Reports. OCLC Research issued two important reports, You’ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media (PDF), and Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media: A Call for Collaboration (PDF).

Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Reports. The DPC added to this already excellent series with three new reports:

End of Term Web Archive. The End of Term 2012 project got underway to capture U.S. Government websites between the first and second administration of President Barack Obama. Project partners include the California Digital Library, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, University of North Texas Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Sadly, a list of ten necessarily leaves out other worthy projects and activities. Please let us know which other 2012 digital preservation developments you think merit recognition.


  1. This is a good list of solid achievement. I observe that this list is all academic / public / open source. It is important to include commercial achievements as well which are just as valid. My company has launched Preservica, a cloud based digital preservation system incorporating full OAIS preservation action. Worth a mention?

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