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Digital Preservation

Watch a video open house discussion of digital libraries and digital preservation:

View / download a brochure about the digital preservation specialization.


What is it?

Digital preservation combines policies, strategies and actions to ensure access to reformatted and born digital content regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time. (Source: American Library Association)

The process of maintaining, in a condition suitable for use, materials produced in digital formats, including preservation of the bit stream and the continued ability to render or display the content represented by the bit stream. The task is compounded by the fact that some digital storage media deteriorate quickly ("bit rot"), and the digital object is inextricably entwined with its access environment (software and hardware), which is evolving in a continuous cycle of innovation and obsolescence. Also refers to the practice of digitizing materials originally produced in nondigital formats (print, film, etc.) to prevent permanent loss due to deterioration of the physical medium. Click here to learn about the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, a collaborative initiative of the Library of Congress. The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) was established in 2001 to address the challenges of preserving digital resources in the UK. Synonymous with e-preservation and electronic preservation. (Source: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science)

What can I do with this background?

Data/digital curator, Web archivist, digital collections manager, digital reformatting specialist, digital preservation project manager.

IMAGE: Video_Digital Preservation

In addition to the required core courses, what courses should I take?

Suggested electives include:

  • 60631 Introduction to Digital Preservation

  • 60632 Technologies for Digital Preservation and Web Archiving

  • 60633 Digital Curation

  • 60639 Implementation of Digital Libraries

  • 60651 Digital Image Processing and Collection Management

  • 60654 Preservation Management

(Refer to the program guidesheet above for additional suggested coursework.)

IMAGE: StorageMedia

What professional organizations are relevant to this career path?

International Council on Archives

National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program

Society of American Archivists

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