Digital Preservation: A Time Bomb for Digital Libraries

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Abstract.The difficulty and expense of preserving digital information is a potential impediment to digital library development. Preservation of traditional materials became more successful and systematic after libraries and archives integrated preservation into overall planning and resource allocation. Digital preservation is largely experimental and replete with the risks associated with untested methods. Digital preservation strategies are shaped by the needs and constraints of repositories with little consideration for the requirements of current and future users of digital scholarly resources. This article discusses the present state of digital preservation, articulates requirements of both users and custodians, and suggests research needs in storage media, migration, conversion, and overall management strategies. Additional research in these areas would help developers of digital
libraries and other institutions with preservation responsibilities to integrate long-term preservation into program planning, administration, system architectures, and resource allocation.

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Arngeir EnĂ¥sen