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INFO 756 - Digital Preservation (Spring 2013) - Drexel University

This course will explore concepts, principles, and practice for the preservation of digital information resources. Digital preservation is a fundamental issue for anyone responsible for the creation or management of digital information. The class will address conceptual models, policy frameworks, technical approaches and requirements, and a number of case studies of real-world digital preservation projects and systems.


  • Office hours: See below and contact as needed
  • Required textbook: Harvey, Ross. Digital Curation: A How-To-Do It Manual. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2010. ISBN 9781555706944.

Assignment Due Dates

  • April 22: Hands-On Exercise #1 (15%)
  • April 29: Group Project Part 1 (not graded)
  • May 13: Hands-On Exercise #2 (15%)
  • June 3: Case Study (20%)
  • June 10: Group Project Part 2 (30%) and Part 3 (5%)

Course Description

The class will consist of weekly lectures, supplemented by readings, discussion, and assignments. Each week will focus on specific primary topics, but students should seek connections between the topics and the application of principles across domains and different types of digital preservation problems. Furthermore, each week’s concepts will build on concepts and material introduced and discussed in previous weeks. In discussion, students are encouraged to bring up past experience when relevant to the current week’s topic.

Policies and Guidelines

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course follows all Drexel University policies and procedures regarding academic integrity (see Drexel University’s Code of Conduct for more details). All assignments submitted must be your own work, with sources properly cited. Any incidence of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty will result in an F for the course. See “Guidelines for Assignments” below as an academic honesty assignment is required on each assignment submitted.

Support for Students with Disabilities

Drexel University ensures people with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to participate in its programs and activities. Members and guests of the Drexel community who have a disability need to register with the Office of Disability Resources (ODR), if requesting auxiliary aids, accommodations, and services to participate in Drexel University’s programs. For further information please contact the ODS:

Support for Equality and Diversity

Drexel University strives to promote an environment of equality of opportunity and compliance with University policies and federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender (sex), marital status, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability and veteran status. Students, faculty and staff with questions about or complaints concerning discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation should contact the Office of Equality and Diversity:, (215) 895-1403.

Course Drop/Withdrawal

Students may drop a course before the end of the second week of classes. More information about dropping a course can be found at

Students may withdraw from a course before the end of the sixth week of classes. More information about withdrawing from a course can be found at


Students are expected to “attend class” virtually by following lectures, completing assigned readings in advance of class, participating in discussion, and/or submitting assignments on time. If a student does not participate in a week’s class, it will be considered an “absence.”

Excused absences from class are granted in cases approved by the Drexel University Office of the Provost. These include: 1) absences due to University Sponsored Activities where the student seeks approval at least two weeks in advance of the absence, 2) religious observances where the student makes the request at the beginning of term, and 3) catastrophic events such as illness, bereavement, accident, or fire, and the student provides documentation to provide perspective that class absence is warranted. It is expected that students seeking an approved absence develop a plan and timetable to make up the missed coursework.

Students may have one unexcused absence for the term. Each further unexcused absence will result in a one-level grade reduction in your final course grade (e.g., a B+ final grade lowered to a B). To avoid being charged with an unexcused absence, students should at least check into the discussion each week, even if they are not going to make substantive comments. More information about class absences can be found at the Office of the Provost at

Grading Scale

All assignments are assigned point grades based on the percentage to which they count towards your final grade. For example, an assignment worth 20% of your final grade has a maximum possible grade of 20 points.

For final grades, the grading scale is as follows:

  • A+ = 98.5 - 100
  • A = 93.5 - 98.5
  • A- = 89.5 - 93.5
  • B+ = 85.5 - 89.5
  • B = 81.5 - 85.5
  • B- = 77.5 - 81.5
  • C+ = 73.5 - 77.5
  • C = 69.5 - 73.5
  • C = 66.5 - 69.5
  • D+ = 63.5 - 66.5
  • D = 61 - 63.5
  • D- = 58 - 61
  • F = 0 - 58

Incomplete Policy

Incomplete grades are contingent upon instructor approval and will only be considered in extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control. The instructor is under no obligation to offer an incomplete grade. At least 80% of the graded coursework must have already been completed in order for an incomplete grade to be considered (per the recommendation of the Provost’s Office). An incomplete contract with due date for delivery of the completed work should be completed by the student and the instructor. It can be found here:

Class Preparation and Scheduling

  • Class runs from 6 PM Eastern Time on Monday to the same time on the following Monday.
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of each class, which is no later than 6 PM Eastern Time on Monday of the specified week unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. For example, Week 5 begins on April 29 at 6 pm, and runs through the following week. The assignment due for Week 5 is due no later than 6 PM on April 29.
  • Students are expected to complete all readings for a given week before the start of class with the exception of Week 1. See “Readings” below for more details.
  • This class does not use PowerPoint or Class Capture for lectures. You should keep up with the lectures by reading the lecture notes after class begins for that week.

Guidelines for Assignments

Late assignments may not be accepted unless the instructor has granted an extension. Any requests for extensions for a particular assignment must be made prior to its due date. Exceptions to this will generally only be considered as a result of serious emergencies. In the event that I do accept a late assignment without an extension or you turn in an assignment past the date due associated with the extension, I will deduct 5% of the total possible points each day that it is late (e.g. 0.5 points per day on an assignment worth 10 points).

While assignment length is a guideline, it is also significant. Because students tend to use various fonts and margins, I have included approximate word counts for assignments rather than page numbers. Word counts for assignments do not include cover pages, honesty statements, citations, and the like.

Correct spelling, proper grammar, clear phrasing, and proper and accurate citations are all essential in your assignments. Ignoring these issues within your assignments will lead to your grade being reduced. If you are concerned about the quality of your writing, please contact me or consider using the services of the Drexel Writing Center.

Citations should be formatted consistently, using preferably Chicago/Turabian, MLA, or APA style. The particular citation style does not matter, but being consistent in the formatting of your citations does.

Assignments should be submitted via the Blackboard assignments section - not the digital dropbox. If Blackboard is down or you are having other problems submitting your assignments via Blackboard, please let me know immediately. I do not accept assignments via email without prior arrangements.

Each student must submit an academic honesty statement at the beginning of of the term for this class. In order to raise awareness about academic dishonesty and reduce cases of academic dishonesty in the College, iSchool policy requires that all syllabi contain the notice that students must include the following certification page once per semester, which covers all deliverables (for example: papers, projects, exams) indicating that the work submitted is their own. Syllabi must include notification about this and indicate that deliverables will not begraded without this certification statement. For more information, please visit the Drexel University Code of Conduct. The certification text follows:

I certify that my work in this course will be entirely my own work. I will not quote the words of any other person from a printed source or a website without indicating what has been quoted and providing an appropriate citation. I will not submit my work in this course to satisfy the requirements of any other course.

Signature ____________________
Date ____________________

Questions, Assistance, Etc.

  • You can use the “Lifeline” discussion board on Blackboard to ask questions related to the class, assignments, etc. There is an option to ask questions anonymously as well.
  • I can hold “office hours” on Tuesdays from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern Time (unless noted otherwise). Any questions about course content, assignments, and the like are welcome here, but you must contact me to let me know that you want to schedule time to talk.
  • If you would like to ask me a question privately or would like to set up another time to talk, please contact me via email.

Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are a required element of every course in the iSchool. Evaluation forms are completely anonymous; in addition, the instructors do not have access to evaluation results until after they have turned in the grades for their classes. The information in the evaluations provides feedback to the instructor, helps the College improve classes and teaching, and is used by administrators in annual faculty performance reviews. Please be part of this integral process by submitting a course evaluation at the end of this term.

Assignments and Course Requirements


You are expected to complete the readings for a given week before the start of class that week, with the exception of week 1. Please complete Week 1’s readings by the middle of Week 1 if possible. The readings for a given week are listed in the Course Schedule below. The listing below should be treated as the authoritative listing.

The lectures will both build on and supplement the material in the readings. In some cases, assigned readings may only require you to skim them or are considered optional. In those cases, the readings will be denoted in Blackboard by the words [SKIM] or [OPTIONAL] in their title.

If you are having difficulty locating or accessing a reading, please post a message to the Lifeline board on Blackboard.

Class Participation (15%)

Students are expected to participate in discussion boards on a regular basis, preferably every week. You are free to create a new discussion topic, but whenever possible you should attempt to continue the discussion of an existing topics for your own benefit, as well as that of your fellow students and your instructor.

Students have until 6 PM Eastern Time on the following Monday to post comments. In general, I will not be providing weekly discussion questions to guide the conversation, so feel free to raise points that you have identified in your response papers (see below). I may post a topic if discussion does not seem to happen naturally. Posts may also address the readings and the other materials that are part of that week’s assignments as well as any other topic relevant to a given week’s content.

You are expected to participate nine of the ten weeks of class, with eight of the those demonstrating substantive evidence of participation. If a student posts more than eight weeks, the highest eight grades will be counted. However, the grades are assigned based on the quality of the posts rather than the quantity. See also Attendance (above) for a discussion of absences. To ensure that you are not charged with an unexcused absence, you should at least check in during the weeks you are not planning to make a substantive comment.

Posts will be assessed based on four criteria:

  • Relevance of the post to the question posed and/or the conversation taking place in the - i.e., the degree to which a post advances the discussion, either by clarifying, extending, or deepening it.
  • Thoughtfulness of the post - i.e., level of insight reflected in the post.
  • Depth of understanding of the assigned materials reflected in the post - i.e., level of preparation reflected in the post.
  • Inclusion of relevant materials outside of the assigned readings - i.e., the degree to which the post adds to the understanding of the questions or discussion by bringing in new information or perspectives from other sources.

Midterm grades for participation will be distributed around weeks 5 to 6.

Hands-On Exercises (15% each / 30% total)

For these assignments, you will undertake a fairly straightforward task related to preservation, such as creating descriptive metadata, identifying file formats, etc. Along with completing the exercise, you are expected to write a response of 500-800 words that allow you to reflect on the exercise and its results.

More detail about these assignments are available on Blackboard.

Case Study Analysis (20%)

In this assignment, you will select a case study that describes a specific digital preservation project, program, or activity, and analyze and critique the article. To identify an appropriate case study, you can use a published article or a report or digital preservation policy that is available on the web, as long as it follows the guidelines below:

  • The case study was not assigned as a reading for class.
  • You must choose a case study that reports on work that has been started or completed, rather than one that only describes a plan for a project.
  • The case study must be no more than five years old (i.e. published in 2007 or later).
  • The case study must focus on the preservation of digital information, not just about the digitization of “analog” materials.
  • You also must get the approval of the instructor for your case study no later than the beginning of Week 6.

Your analysis should be 1200-1800 words and should include a synopsis of the article, a description of particular preservation strategies, policies, technologies, or methodologies used, and analysis of any lessons learned, particularly if they could impact future projects. Regardless whether you agree or disagree with the approach the project took, describe the reasons why you feel that way in detail.

Potential sources for your case studies can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Archives journals, like American Archivist, Archivaria, Archival Science, etc.
  • Digital curation/digital preservation journals, like International Journal for Digital Curation
  • Policies for digital preservation programs and initiatives (see links on Blackboard)
  • Library technology/digital library journals, like Library Hi-Tech, D-Lib, Ariadne, Code4lib Journal, etc.
  • Papers from conferences, like iPRES, DigCCurr, Society of American Archivists, Association of Moving Image Archivists, etc.
  • Case studies from professional organizations, like the Digital Curation Centre, NDIIPP, the Digital Preservation Coalition, Open Planets Foundation, etc.
  • The Digital Curation Bibliography:

Group Project (35%)

This is a group project designed to allow you gain experience assessing the preservation needs of a collection of digital information important to you and your classmates and developing a detailed plan that would help ensure the preservation of that information. Each group will usually have four or five students total, but this project should be manageable with groups of at least three students. The instructor will form the groups for you and list the groups by the beginning of Week 2.

You may use any technology you’d like to collaborate with the members of your group, including but not limited to group discussion boards, email, Skype, etc. If any problems occur with the group collaboration, please notify me at the time that these occur. Although I can consider relative contributions, I cannot make any allowance for problems that are reported after assignments have been graded.

This assignment has three parts: a draft preservation plan (Part 1), a final report (Part 2), and an evaluation of your peers in your group (Part 3). For Parts 1 and 2, you should ensure that your submitted assignments are written in a consistent voice that represents the entire group. Part 3 is submitted individually and will be used in grade apportionment.

Part 1: Draft Preservation Plan (not assessed)

The first part of this assignment is a draft of your preservation plan. While not graded, it is nonetheless a mandatory part of the assignment. This gives the instructor an opportunity to give you feedback and guidance about how to expand and improve upon this draft for the final report.

For this part of the assignment, your group should ensure you do the following:

  • Identify a common area of interest across the members of your group, and identify or create a collection of digital information for that interest. This can include websites, audio or video recordings, software, textual material, etc., and should include more than one of these types of digital media.
  • Develop a description of that shared interest and the motivation for preserving that material. Identify the context of the collection and provide information about its creation, and describe it in any other way you think is relevant in terms of how it gets preserved.
  • Perform an appraisal of the contents of your collection and identify a subset of that collection that you consider worthy of long-term preservation. Your group should describe its appraisal decision and selection process in detail. In addition, identify any important needs for this subset that would need to be addressed for that information to be preserved appropriately.
  • Begin developing a preservation plan to address the identified needs. Your preliminary plan should address potential strategies and actions, technical considerations such as file formats or metadata requirements, and potential compromises that you will need to make. These may include considerations of intellectual property rights, and in reflecting on these, describe the implications on your plan of action.

Be sure to address the big picture as well as focusing on the details, such as whether you think this is feasible, potential expertise or staffing needed for this project, and how much time and/or money it would take.

Part 2: Final Report (30%)

Using the feedback you received on Part 1, rewrite and expand upon your preservation plan to thoroughly identify the collection of information and its requirements for preservation. Treat this as if you were developing a funding proposal for a grant agency or a private foundation. Your report should include the following components:

  • A revised version of your documentation from part 1 of your assignment. Ensure you adequately address the feedback provided by the instructor, such as expanding things in need of more detail.
  • A detailed staffing plan, identifying the roles, time allocation, and expertise needed to actualize this plan.
  • A detailed timeline and work plan that breaks down the necessary work into multiple phases, with a reasonable estimate about how long each phase and set of tasks will take.
  • A detailed description of any additional tangible resources (e.g. hardware or software, etc.) or services that you would need.
  • Identification of any significant risks or challenges for the project, and how your group intends to address them.
  • An overview of similar projects or those which may have some relevance to how your group intends to execute its plan.
  • A brief outline of how you would evaluate the success of your project. Stating that you intend to evaluate the success of how well the information was preserved over the long term is not adequate. Assume that your project has a finite first phase and that you need to evaluate your project to get further support.

You are not expected to prepare a budget.

While there is not a specific length requirement, I expect that most final reports will be between 3500-5000 words. Ensure that your final report shares one common voice. You can refer to specific discussions within your group, but the writing style should be consistent throughout.

Sample successful (i.e. funded) grant proposals that can be used for ideas can be found from the following links:

Part 3: Peer Evaluation (5%)

All students are required to submit a peer evaluation at the end of the term that indicated the relative contribution of their group members to the project. These evaluations are used for grade apportionment. It is critical that you take these seriously. You will complete a peer evaluation form for each member of your group, including yourself. In addition, write approximately 150-200 words about each member of your group describing specific strengths, weaknesses and moments of excellence or problems that you’ve identified.

The peer evaluation form is available on Blackboard.

Course Schedule

Week 1: What is Digital Preservation? (April 1)

This week will contain an overview of the course and assignments, as well as background on and overview of digital preservation, including key themes in the course and the field. We will also investigate the related idea of “digital curation.”

Readings (complete by April 4 if possible)

Week 2: Conceptual Models: OAIS and the DCC Lifecycle (April 8)

The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System is a conceptual framework and an international standard for describing the components of a digital preservation environment. We will focus on the different components and their relationships during this week. We will also be looking at the DCC Lifecycle model, as developed by the Digital Curation Centre.


  • Harvey, Ross. “Chapter 3: Conceptual Models.” In Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual, 33-44. New York: Neal Schuman, 2010.
  • Higgins, Sarah. “The DCC Curation Lifecycle Model.” International Journal of Digital Curation 3, no. 1 (2008): 134-140.
  • Lee, Christopher A. “Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition, edited by Marcia J. Bates and Mary Niles Maack, 4020-4030. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2009.
  • [SKIM] Consultative System for Space Data Systems. Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System. Recommended Practice CCSDS 650.0-M-2. June 2012.
    • Note: This document is long, but you should skim it to get a high-level understanding of how the different parts of the Reference Model fit together. This week’s lecture and the other readings will explain things in more detail. The most important sections to skim in advance of class are section 2, section 3, and section 4.1, and skim sections 4.2 and 4.3 if you can complete them. Appendix F will give you a good high-level view of the relationships in section 4.1.
  • Vardigan, Mary, and Cole Whiteman. “ICPSR meets OAIS: Applying the OAIS Reference Model to the Social Science Archive Context,” Archival Science 7, no. 1 (2007): 73-87.
  • [OPTIONAL] Ball, Alex. Review of Data Mangement Lifecycle Models. Version 1.0. REDm-MED Project Document redm1rep120110ab10. Bath, UK: University of Bath, January 10, 2012.

Week 3: Ingest, Selection, Provenance and Authenticity (April 15)

Ingest is the function within the OAIS Reference Model that accepts packages of digital information into a preservation system. Digital preservation requires processes of assessment and selection to determine the proper course of action. We will review means of identifying requirements and establishing selection criteria to ensure appropriate and responsible allocation of resources. We will also discuss the concepts of authenticity and provenance, or origin, of digital information and how it both relates to and distinct from the related archival concepts.


  • In Harvey, Ross, Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual, 131-149. (New York: Neal Schuman, 2010):
    • “Chapter 11: Deciding What Data to Keep,” 131-149.
    • “Chapter 12: Ingesting Data,” 151-159.
  • In AIMS Work Group, AIMS Born-Digital Collections: An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship (2012)
    • “Chapter 1: Collection Development,” 1-16.
    • “Chapter 2: Accessioning,” 17-30.
  • Mumma, Courtney C., Glenn Dingwall, and Sue Bigelow, “A First Look at the Acquisition and Appraisal of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Fonds; SELECT * FROM VANOC_Records AS Archives WHERE Value=“true”.” Archivaria 72 (2011): 93-122.
  • Fear, Kathleen, and Devan Ray Donaldson. “Provenance and Credibility in Scientific Data Repositories.” Archival Science 12, no. 3 (2012): 319-339.
  • Smith, Abby. “Authenticity and Affect: When Is a Watch Not a Watch?” Library Trends 52, no. 1 (2003): 172-182.

Week 4: Significant Properties and Preservation Planning (April 22)

Assignment Due: Hands-On Exercise #1

Preservation planning is an important component of the OAIS model, and involves both monitoring a preservation environment and its surroundings as well as developing preservation plans for specific types or collections of digital information. Preservation plans must address the significant properties of digital information, which are the characteristics of an information object that must be maintained to ensure that object’s continued access, use, and meaning over time.


  • In Harvey, Ross, Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual (New York: Neal Schuman, 2010):
    • “Chapter 9: Designing Data,” 105-114.
    • “Chapter 10: Creating Data,” 115-130.
  • Knight, Gareth, and Maureen Pennock. “Data without Meaning: Establishing the Significant Properties of Digital Research.” International Journal of Digital Curation 4, no. 1 (2009): 159-174.
  • Yeo, Geoffrey. “‘Nothing is the Same as Something Else’: Significant Properties and Notions of Identity and Originality.” Archival Science 10 (2010): 85-116.
  • Becker, Christoph, Hannes Kulovits, Mark Guttenbrunner, Stephan Strodl, Andreas Rauber and Hans Hofman. “Systematic Planning For Digital Preservation: Evaluating Potential Strategies And Building Preservation Plans.” International Journal on Digital Libraries 10 no. 4 (2009), 133-157.
  • Dappert, Angela, and Adam Farquhar. “Modelling Organizational Preservation Goals to Guide Digital Preservation.” International Journal of Digital Curation 4, no. 2 (2009), 119-134.
  • [OPTIONAL] Guttenbrunner, Mark, Christoph Becker, and Andreas Rauber. “Keeping the Game Alive: Evaluating Strategies for the Preservation of Console Video Games.” International Journal of Digital Curation 5, no. 1 (2010), 64-90.

Week 5: Describing and Characterizing Digital Information (April 29)

Assignment Due: Group Project Part 1

This week will focus on particular requirements and challenges related to the long-term viability and accessibility of digital information, such as the selection and recording appropriate metadata, or information about the information itself. We will also discuss some issues relating to the viability or obsolescence of file formats.


Week 6: Digital Preservation Strategies (May 6)

This week focuses on specific strategies for ensuring the longevity of digital information and heavily focuses on case studies. Emulation duplicates the function of a full computer system. Migration involves transforming digital information into a different format than in which it was originally held. We will also discuss the impact of storage media on digital preservation.


  • In Harvey, Ross, Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual (New York: Neal Schuman, 2010):
    • “Chapter 13: Preserving Data,” 161-180.
    • “Chapter 14: Storing Data,” 181-198.
  • Carroll, Laura. Erika Farr, Peter Hornsby, and Ben Ranker. “A Comprehensive Approach to Born-Digital Archives.” Archivaria 72 (2011): 61-92.
  • Brown, Geoffrey. “Developing Virtual CD-ROM Collections: The Voyager Company Publications.” *International Journal of Digital Curation 7. no. 2 (2012), 3-20.
  • Gregory, Lisa. “The ‘M’ Word: Exploring File Format Migration with Open Source Tools.” Proceedings of the 2010 Society of American Archivists Research Forum. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011.
  • Ippolito, Jon. “Accomodating the Unpredictable: The Variable Media Questionnaire.” In Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach, edited by Alain Depocas, Jon Ippolito, and Caitlin Jones, 47-53. New York and Montréal: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Daniel Langlois Foundation, 2003.
  • Rothenberg, Jeff. “Renewing the Erl King.” Millenium Film Journal 45/46 (2006).
  • Janée, Greg, James Frew, and Terry Moore. “Relay-supporting Archives: Requirements and Progress.” International Journal of Digital Curation 4, no. 1 (2009), 57-70.

Week 7: Digital Preservation Policy and Security (May 13)

Assignment Due: Hands-On Exercise #2

Digital preservation policy frameworks are essential in ensuring the continued operation of a preservation environment within an institution. We will be looking at some examples of guidelines for developing policy as well as policies from specific institutions.


  • Harvey, Ross. “Chapter 7: Preservation Planning and Policy.” In Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual, 83-92. New York: Neal Schuman, 2010.
  • Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities. An RLG-OCLC Report. Mountain View, CA: RLG, 2002.
    • Read pages 1-32, 37-40, and 49-53.
  • Prom, Christopher. “Making Digital Curation a Systematic Institutional Function.” International Journal of Digital Curation 6, no. 1 (2011), 139-152.
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. “Digital Preservation Policies and Planning at ICPSR.” (June 20, 2007).
    • Read through the following documents linked from the above page:
      • ICPSR Digital Preservation Policy Framework (read this first before the others!)
      • Digital Preservation Policy Framework: Outline
      • OAIS Conformance at ICPSR
      • Digital Preservation Requirements Applied to ICPSR
      • Roles and Responsibilities for Digital Preservation at ICPSR
    • SKIM the following documents linked from the above page:
      • ICPSR Strategic Plan
      • ICPSR Collection Development Policy
      • ICPSR Access Policy Framework
      • Disaster Planning Policy Framework
  • [SKIM] Beagrie, Neil, Najla Semple, Peter Williams, and Richard Wright. “Digital Preservation Policies Study: Part 1: Final Report.” (2008).

Week 8: Compliance, Auditing, and Certification (May 20)

Certification and auditing are important steps to determine the soundness, resilience, and long-term viability of institutions and programs that undertake digital preservation initiatives. We will look at a few key initiatives that evaluate preservation environments as well as a few case studies.


May 27-June 2 - No Class

Week 9: Resource Allocation and Sustainability (June 3)

Assignment Due: Case Study

Resources are a key component of ensuring the operation of a digital preservation initiative over time. There has been considerable work over the last few years that addresses issues related to the sustainability of preservation programs. We will look at some emerging work in the field, including sustainability analyses and cost models.


Week 10: Access and User Needs (June 10)

Assignment Due: Group Project Parts 2 and 3

Access is the driving force behind preservation. This week will address means and requirements of access to preserved digital information.


  • Harvey, Ross. “Chapter 15: Using and Reusing Data.” In Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It-Manual, 199-216. New York: Neal Schuman, 2010.
  • Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. “Coda: Austin’s Afternoons.” In Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, 207-211. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008.
  • AIMS Work Group. “Chapter 4: Discovery and Access.” In AIMS Born-Digital Collections: An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship, 44-62. 2012.
  • Hedstrom, Margaret, Christopher Lee, Judith Olson, and Clifford Lampe. “‘The Old Version Flickers More:’ Digital Preservation from the User’s Perspective.” American Archivist 69 (Summer 2006), 159-187.
  • Beaudoin, Joan E., “A Framework for Contextual Metadata Used in the Digital Preservation of Cultural Objects.” D-Lib Magazine 18, no. 11/12 (2012).
  • Choudhury, Sayeed, Mike Furlough, and Joyce Ray, “Digital Curation and E-Publishing: Libraries Make the Connection.” Charleston Conference 2009.
  • [OPTIONAL] Lane, Julia, and Stephanie Shipp. “Using a Remote Access Data Enclave for Data Dissemination.” International Journal of Digital Curation 2, no. 1 (2007): 128-134.