Digital Preservation Basics: Library Digital Preservation Program

A brief overview of the Digital Preservation (DP) discipline to include basic concepts, valuable resources and documentation, a summary of the DP program at the Marriott Library, and an introduction to Rosetta - the Library's new DP System by ExLibris.

Program overview

The J. Willard Marriott Library has a mandate to preserve its unique collections in whatever form they exist. When it comes to digital materials, this can be a challenge because they are inherently fragile and can be difficult to maintain in the present while making sure they stay readable and useful for future generations.

In response to these challenges, we have created a Digital Preservation Program within the Library. The mission of the program is to preserve and sustain long-term accessibility to the unique digital collections housed within the Library.

The first steps towards the program are: 

1. Research digital preservation concepts and strategies.

2. Assess the needs of the Library in the area of digital preservation.

3. Begin educating staff and librarians about digital preservation and its relation to Library collections.

4. Create a digital preservation policy, intended to be the highest-level digital preservation document at the Library. The policy makes explicit the objectives and priorities of the program.

5. Research and purchase a digital preservation software system and began implementing the software throughout the Library.

Note: We are currently in the middle of step 5, having purchased the Ex Libris digital preservation system Rosetta. Implementation will be ongoing throughout 2013. Stay tuned to the What's Happening NOW? section on our Digital Preservation Program page for more details as they come. 

Digital Preservation Policy

Initially created in 2010, over two years before we purchased a digital preservation system, we structured our policy to include not only high-level policy decision making, but also our basic plan for implementing our policy once a digital preservation system was settled on.

Therefore, the policy is broken into three main sections. The first section covers the highest-level attributes of our program. The second section aims to detail specific responsibilities of various stakeholders and gives more detail into our requirements from a digital preservation system and the third section deals with how we aim to implement and publicize our digital preservation program, once its fully functioning. Please see our Digital Preservation Program page for more information regarding what's included in each section.

As we have recently purchased a digital preservation system and are in the process of implementing it, our current policy will likely undergo some significant changes in sections two and three over the course of 2013 and 2014. The link to our policy is below.

Digital Preservation Decision Flowchart

As we implement our digital preservation system, Rosetta, we are setting rules for submission into the archive. The flowchart linked below is our first attempt to assist collection owners in the process of determining if their collection is suitable for preservation in the archive or not.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library for the basic structure of our flowchart. 

What's Happening NOW?

Our digital preservation system, via Rosetta, is currently being implemented. The full implementation is at least a two year project, with additional time needed for ingesting legacy, non-standard archival digital material into the system. 

During our initial Rosetta implementation, we are:

  • Creating unique workflows for preserving both new and legacy digital collections
  • Creating a custiomized SIP (Submission Information Package) Tool for automated ingest of large batch items into the system 
  • Associating archival objects submitted into our Digital Archive with their derivatives held in our Digital Asset Management (DAM) software for coordination between the two repositories. This will be done using Archival Resource Keys (ARKs).

Phase One (Sept 2012 - Mid to late 2013)

  • Affects Digital Ventures, Digital Operations, Metadata, Application Programming divisions within Library
  • Develop automated workflow to ingest all legacy archival objects (and select metadata) currently in DAM into Rosetta
  • Develop automated workflow for new collections going forward to be ingested into Rosetta as well as DAM
  • Develop SIP Tool for automated ingest of data into both systems

For more information regarding implementation phases and other digital preservation-related projects, please see our Digital Preservation Program page.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library