nestor Preservation Policy guideline (as yet: for German readers only)


People who can read the German language should have a look at the recent publication of nestor, the German digital preservation coalition, about creating an institutional preservation policy, or Leitfaden zur Erstellung einer institutionellen Policy zur digitalen Langzeitarchivierung.

This 26 pages long guideline describes various aspects of preservation policies, like the usefulness of a policy, who to address with the policy and what to put into a policy. In this chapter a warning is made not to mix up the real situation in the preservation policy with the situation an organisation would like to achieve (the “ist und soll”). In practice this happens frequently I think; a topic I will discuss more on iPRES 2014 now that my paper is accepted.

Each chapter has some questions formulated related to the topic, and I assume this is to foster internal discussions.

I looked with special interest to this guideline, as I was involved in creating a Catalogue of Policy elements in the European project SCAPE . This catalogue gives an overview of elements that should be part of a preservation policy. The elements of the SCAPE policy and the nestor guideline overlap for most part, sometimes differing in granularity, for example when describing the technical environment of the repository. The nestor guideline has one interesting addition however and that is the chapter about collaborative digital preservation, where more than one organisation is involved.

There is no reference to the policy work in SCAPE and this is a pity in my (slightly biased) opinion. A reason might be that the SCAPE Catalogue is not in German but in English. But reference to this work would have been a useful additional source for organisations in creating their preservation policies.

Taking notice of the outcomes of European projects could also have extended some topics, like the “Technology and Community Watch” to which now often is referred to as Preservation Watch. Preservation Watch is less limited to technology and community only –two elements mentioned in OAIS – , but also will take into account i.a. changes in the organisation itself, see for example the report on the Planets Functional Model on this and the uptake of this concept in the SCOUT tool.

The guideline ends with a list of examples of preservation policies, a list that has a striking resemblance with the SCAPE site of Published Preservation Policies .

It would be nice if the nestor people will make an English translation of this document (of course incorporating some SCAPE work as well ). Many organisations are currently working on creating preservation policies, and not only small organisations. This could be a worthwhile supportive document and get a wider audience, if in English.

Update 2015: the English translation is there !

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