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Tuesday, September 29 • 11:30 - 13:30
W 167 - Demand Driven Selection ... (II)

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Demand Driven Selection for the Archiving of Digital Heritage
Marco De Niet, Vincent Wintermans and Julia Brungs

The selection of digital content for long term preservation is one of the pressing issues currently faced by heritage institutions. Out of the massive amount of content available in a digital format, it has to be evaluated what needs to be preserved for future generations. There is no decisive method for selecting digital content yet and heritage institutions are in the process of rethinking their selection criteria from an analogue method to a digital one. It is expected that a more holistic approach to digital preservation is needed, which addresses standards, preservation policies, preservation planning and sustainability of systems and services. Unesco, IFLA, ICA and other parties work together in the PERSIST project to support the global cultural heritage community establishing that new approach.


The PERSIST project is a result of the Memory of the World Conference in Vancouver (September 2012),where international experts agreed that there is a pressing need to establish a roadmap for solutions, agreements and policies that ensure long term access and trustworthy preservation of digital cultural information. New technologies, their practical applications and the way in which they are used are redefining current and future responsibilities of heritage institutions in the digital world. These institutions are facing complex challenges in ensuring that knowledge and information will still be accessible and readable in ten, a hundred, or even a thousand years from now. In order to establish such a roadmap, governments, cultural organizations and the IT-industry will have to work together more closely. The roadmap should also include the input of all countries or regions, as digital preservation is a truly global concern. These findings led to the launch of the PERSIST project in December 2013. In this project UNESCO has joined forces with the International Council on Archives (ICA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Together they work towards a global platform on which governments, memory institutions and ICT industry can jointly address issues regarding long term preservation and access of digital cultural heritage.

Selection of born digital cultural heritage

One of the results that the PERSIST project currently prepares is a set of Guidelines for the selection of digital heritage for long term preservation. These Guidelines are meant to provide memory institutions across the globe and from all domains (Libraries, Archives, Museums) with a starting point for their selection policies for building and expanding digital archives and libraries. The PERSIST partners promote the view that current users of digital heritage should be consulted about future selection policies. Safeguarding digital heritage for the future is important to make the information society more sustainable over time, and it makes sense to involve all participants of the information society in decisions on public investments in digital archiving. Without a better understanding of the use and usefulness of digital collections, long term curation can easily become a meaningless activity. This workshop at the DigitalHeritage2015 Congress will be used to get input from professionals who work with digital heritage for these Guidelines, which will be finalised and presented in November 2015.


The workshop that PERSIST prepares for the Digital Heritage 2015 congress focuses on understanding the differences and similiaries in the perspectives of curators and researchers on the composition and usefulness of large collections of born digital heritage managed by cultural heritage institutions.

The workshop consists of four main parts:

  • A presentation of the results of a survey and analysis done by the PERSIST project of current selection policies in cultural heritage institutions. The report with the result of this analysis is available at http://www.unesco.nl/artikel/further-steps-towards-selection-guidelines-digital-heritage (20 minutes incl. Q&A).
  • A group discussion with the participants of the workshop about the composition and usefulness of collections with born digital cultural heritage that they frequently use. How are they used? What are current limitations? (30 minutes).
  • A presentation of the draft guidelines for selection of born digital heritage, as prepared by the Content Taskforce of the PERSIST Project. These Guidelines will be finalised in November 2015. The results of this workshop will be used as input for these guidelines. (30 minutes incl. Q&A).
  • An interactive session in two subgroups (academic researchers and curators) to collect ideas and expectations about the growth, composition, sustainability and use of collections of born digital cultural heritage as they will exist in the future (5 to 25 years from now). (60 minutes).

avatar for Marco de Niet

Marco de Niet

Director, Digital Heritage Netherlands
Marco de Niet is the Director of Digitaal Erfgoed Nederland (DEN foundation), the Dutch knowledge centre for digital heritage. DEN is a government funded organisation to promote standardisation and monitor the progress of the national digital infrastructure for cultural heritage... Read More →

Tuesday September 29, 2015 11:30 - 13:30 CEST
Parque de las Ciencias - Aula Curie Avenida de la Ciencia, s/n, 18006 Granada

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