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Long-term Preservation

he preservation of online publications represents a particular challenge. The digital data itself must be preserved, but so, too, must its long-term accessibility. This means preserving the interpretability of the content of the digital data. Ongoing technical advances are resulting in constant changes in hardware and software. It should be ensured that publications saved in new file formats can be used on current computer systems in the same way they were on the original systems which are now long obsolete. To achieve this, an earlier system environment can be recreated on a current system (emulation) or an earlier file format can be converted into a current one (migration).

The German National Library meets this challenge by deploying and developing technical solutions and by devising joint solutions in national and international partnerships.

In the kopal project the German National Library and its partners set up a jointly usable digital repository from 2004 to 2007. This included the administration of information for supporting migration and emulation in LMER format (digital preservation metadata for electronic resources). Also, the open-source software koLibRI (kopal Library for Retrieval and Ingest) was created, providing a framework which can be used for setting up format migration processes. Based on the results of the kopal project, the German National Library and other partners in the DP4lib project developed a long-term preservation service in 2013 which operates under the name AREDO.

The archive system of the German National Library has been certified as a trusted repository as defined in the Data Seal of Approval guidelines.

The nestor project was previously sponsored by the BMBF but has been operated as a cooperation association since 2009. The competence network for digital preservation in Germany was set up under the leadership of the German National Library. It is the central point of contact for all matters regarding the long-term preservation of digital resources.

The German National Library is involved in implementing the DFG eDissPlus project. Previous long-term digital preservation projects in which the German National Library was involved include EMiL, LuKII, PARSE.Insight, SHAMAN, KEEP, 4C, APARSEN and NEDLIB.

Certified repository

Nestor-Siegel 2016

In 2015 and 2016 the German National Library subjected its processes and systems for digital long-term archiving to an extended assessment by nestor in accordance with DIN 31644. In 2016 it was awarded the nestor seal for online publications.

Data Seal of Approval 2014 - 2017

The archive system of the German National Library was certified in 2015 as a trusted repository as defined in the Data Seal of Approval guidelines.

Long-term preservation policy of the German National Library (version 1.2, last updated: 4 May 2018) urn:nbn:de:101-2018071609

Preservation policy (version 1.0, last updated: 1 August 2018) urn:nbn:de:101-2019032806

Other relevant documents on how long-term preservation is handled at the German National Library (available only in German)

Last update: 29.03.2019


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