Research at Risk

Digital Preservation handbook – new edition launched

On the 22nd June 2016, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the new edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook at the picturesque Guildhall in York. In addition to meeting the welcoming staff of the Digital Preservation Coalition, I also had the opportunity to chat with many of the authors and experts who had contributed towards the first new edition since 2001.

The Handbook is available free of charge on the Digital Preservation Coalition website, and provides a range of practical tools to help preserve digital materials. Acknowledging and embracing the importance of digital information to today’s culture, knowledge base and economy, the new edition brings together current practice in creating, managing and preserving a rapidly growing and valuable asset.

Digital Preservation Handbook Team
The Digital Preservation Handbook team. Image reproduced with the permission of the DPC.

Catalyst for Action

The handbook was launched by William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition. Speaking at the event, he said:

“Already we have made great strides in averting a “digital dark age”. There are a growing number of repositories all over the world that can claim a long track record of keeping digital materials well over many decades. And there are things we can all do. This handbook is intended as a catalyst for action for institutions of any kind.”

The managing editor of the Handbook, Neil Beagrie, then gave a short presentation,  adding:

“By providing a strategic overview of the key issues, strategies and activities, the Handbook is a real, useful and practical guide to help organisations identify and take appropriate action in preserving their digital collections.”

The revision of the Handbook has been undertaken under the direction of William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC and editor Neil Beagrie, supported by an extensive advisory board and set of contributors. The work was funded by The National Archives in the UK with supplementary funding from the Archives and Records Association, British Library, Jisc, and National Records of Scotland. At Jisc we were pleased to be able to support this new edition and to work with others to introduce the use of book sprints to help to develop the content in a collaborative manner.

The handbook is laid out well and from my look through it seems to be very clear and comprehensive. I think it will certainly be a resource we use as part of the development of the digital preservation service that we are taking forward as part of the research data shared service. Take a look and see what you think.
Well done to Neil, the DPC and all of the contributors.