All you need to know about Digital Preservation





APARSEN is a “Network of Excellence”, involving all types European organisations working in digital preservation: research institutions, libraries, universities, associations and industry. It is a digital preservation project funded by the European Union 7th Framework Program RTD (research and development).


Security Forum, Smart Trusted Technologies & Services for the Networked Society
September 25-27, 2013 in Nice , France

TPDL 2013, 17th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries
September 22 – 26, 2013 in Valetta, Malta

iPRES, international conference on digital preservation
September 2-6 , 2013, in Lisbon, Portugal
Actually in process of Call for Contributions

JCDL Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2013
“Digital Libraries at the Crossroads”
July 22-26, 2013 in Indianapolis, USA

6th Annual International Systems and Storage Conference
June 30 ­ July 2, 2013 in Haifa, Israel

42nd LIBER Annual Conference
“Research Information Infrastructures and the Future Role of Libraries”
June 26 -29, 2013 in Munich, Germany

i-SOCIETY 2013, International Conference on Information Society
June 24-26, 2013 in Toronto, Canada

OR 2013 7th International Conference on Open Repositories
July 8- 12, 2013 in Charlottetown, Canada

ASIS&T European Workshop 2013 Information Science and Technology Conference
June 5-6, 2013 in Turku/Åbo, Finland

European Library Automation Group ELAG 2013 Conference
May 28-31, 2013 in Ghent, Belgium

May 6 – 7, 2013 in Florence, Italy

MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013
April 17-20, 2013 in Portland, USA

ECLAP 2013 -2nd Conference on Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access and Entertainment
“Trust and Quality in Cultural Heritage Digital Libraries”
April 8-10 2013 in Porto, Portugal

ICDE 2013: 29th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering
April 8-11, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia

IS&T Archiving Conference
April 2 – April 5, 2013 in Washington, DC, USA

Research Data Alliance Launch
March 18-20, 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden

5th Kongress Bibliothek & Information Deutschland
March 11- 14, Leipzig, Germany

ICDS 2013: The Seventh International Conference on Digital Society
February 24 – March 1, 2013 in Nice, France

Digital Preservation, Learning it by Doing it

Libraries, archives and museums have been extremely successful in preserving centuries old paper-based, cultural and scientific heritage. How well are they doing with the growing and rapidly ageing digital-based heritage?

This question has been haunting us (the digital preservation community) for a while now, even though the digital era has only just begun. We are still unsure about so many things: Are we keeping the right information?

Should we be more selective? What is the right preservation strategy: safeguarding the original containers and carriers, transferring the data to long-lasting media, emulating the hardware before it becomes obsolete? Which metadata should we record? Etc.

this link



The SCAPE Project (2011-2014) is researching the planning and execution of computing-intensive digital preservation processes such as the large-scale ingestion or migration of large and complex data sets. For a good introduction to SCAPE, with an overview presentation, you can check this recent blog:

Training events
On 6-7 December 2012, the first SCAPE training event took place in Guimarães, Portugal. Attendees learned about, and gained practical experience of, digital preservation identification and characterisation tools. Resources, presentations and training materials from the event have been uploaded to the SCAPE wiki pages.

Save the date: the next SCAPE training event will take place on 16-17 September 2013 at The British Library, London. The focus of this event is on large scale preservation infrastructure for preservation actions. More information will be made available through the website: http://www.scape-project.eu.


EUDAT is a new pan-European initiative aiming to lay out the foundations of a Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI) in which centres offering community-specific support services to their users can rely on a set of common data services shared between different research communities.

After one year of activity, EUDAT has reviewed the requirements of a first subset of communities from linguistics (CLARIN), solid earth sciences (EPOS), climate sciences (ENES), environmental sciences (LIFEWATCH), and biological and medical sciences (VPH), and shortlisted four generic services: data replication from site to site, data staging to compute facilities, metadata, and easy storage. While these services are being deployed on the infrastructure, the next generation of services is already being discussed. EUDAT is calling for the contributions of all stakeholders – in particular research communities – interested in adapting their solutions or contributing to the design of the CDI.

More information is available from http://www.eudat.eu

TIMBUS Project

The EU co-funded TIMBUS project (2011 – 2014, http://timbusproject.net/) addresses the challenge of business process preservation to ensure the long-term continued access to processes and services. TIMBUS builds on feasibility and cost-benefit analysis in order to analyse and recommend which aspects of a business process should be preserved and how to preserve them. It delivers methodologies and tools to capture and formalise business processes on both technical and organisational levels. This includes their underlying software and hardware infrastructures and dependencies on third-party services and information. TIMBUS aligns digital preservation with well-established methods for enterprise risk management (ERM) and business continuity management (BCM).

As TIMBUS and APARSEN are initiatives that complement each other especially on the topic of sustainability they plan to share and discuss their results by organising common workshops, webinars, summer schools, trainings etc. They will make use of both networks’ multiplier effect when it comes to communication and awareness raising for the needs of DP

Videos from the Training Day on Digital Preservation of Business Processes that took place on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 are now available on YouTube here
Course Content: Introduction to Process Preservation; Risk Management; Business Continuity Management; BCM Demo; Infrastructure, Architecture and Storage; Legal Aspect of Digital Preservation.

TIMBUS Newsletter now available here(1.77 MB). Inside this issue: Welcome to the First Newsletter ; The TIMBUS Approach to Business Process Preservation; Use Case “ Civil Engineering Infrastructures”; TIMBUS at iPres 2012; Introducing TIMBUS Partners: SQS; TIMBUS at the International Legal Informatics Symposium; Training Day: Resilient Business Processes; TIMBUS Topics at DPC Briefing Days. Register to receive future newsletters by email http://timbusproject.net/register

Past Conferences and APARSEN Workshops

APA 2012 Conference

The 2012 APA conference on November 6-7, 2012 addressed the theme “Value from data now and into the future” and brought together leaders in the field from Europe and around the world, including academic, large scientific research, industrial and commercial stakeholders.
A panel discussion about the APARSEN aims of reaching a Common Vision and the role of a Virtual Centre of Excellence was held in the course of this conference.
Photos/blogs covering the event: videos and the presentations of all the talks are available

APARSEN Workshop Interoperability of Persistent Identifiers Systems: Learning how to bring them together
Florence, December 13, 2012
The new model of Interoperability Framework (IF) has been presented by the APARSEN team. Representatives of different PI initiatives reported on the current state of the art and exposed their position towards needs and opportunity of interoperability among PI systems.
Read more

Photos/blogs covering the event: see

Workshop on Sustainability & APARSEN Network of Excellence
This workshop took place on January 17 in Amsterdam and was part of the 8th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) (see: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/idcc13). The workshop dealt with the topics preservation services, storage solutions and cost issues on a very practical level. Read more by following
this link

Defragmenting the Digital Preservation space: Progress towards a Virtual Centre of Excellence

Aims and impacts

The objective of APARSEN is to bring together work in digital preservation under a common vision, allowing us to see how and where the individual pieces of work fit together.
The final result of the project will be to provide a consistent vision for future research and practice in digital preservation, supported by the existence of an internationally recognised Virtual Centre of Excellence (VCoE).
Many areas of digital preservation activity will be influenced by the vision and supported by the VCoE, including:

  • Provision of services and consultancy
  • Training and professional development
  • Development of methods, tools and software services

In the longer term we expect the following impacts on particular communities to result from APARSEN:

  • Research data users will be able to access, understand and use the massive range of digital information available to them from across the globe and across time. We assume here that the system complexities, security and legal obstacles can be overcome.
  • Information curators will have choice of well tested, robust, cost effective tools and processes for preserving their digital holdings, and they will be confident in their ability to preserve their holdings.
  • Decision makers will have a better understanding of the costs and benefits of their data preservation responsibilities. They will be able to have comfort from the external certification of the repositories for which they are responsible.
  • Researchers will enjoy a respectable academic standing, with large numbers of graduates in digital preservation supplying a large demand in commerce, culture and society. The assumption we make is that there is a restructured landscape and a sufficient societal demand for digital preservation. The network of contacts and cooperation will give new fruits and feed debate, exchange of ideas and new initiatives after APARSEN.
  • The existing workforce of digital preservation facilities will benefit from a more comprehensive and more readily accessible range of career development opportunities.
  • Technology and services Suppliers will be able to supply society with an interoperable set of tools to survive and swim in the tidal wave of data which threatens to engulf and drown institutions, companies and citizens.

Progress and results of the second year

The APARSEN consortium has made progress in the development of a Common Vision in digital preservation and the creation of a VCoE to carry on the work initiated in APARSEN. Both activities aim at defragmentation of the digital preservation landscape in Europe.

  • In terms of the Common Vision, we have brought together various approaches to digital preservation in order to come to a mutual understanding of the various requirements and currently available solutions. This work identified commonalities of digital preservation in different disciplines and sectors as well as revealing where specific solutions are essential. Deriving from these findings we are able to indicate where services as consultancy, training, etc. are needed at the same time showing gaps which require further research. In parallel, these findings were taken up and included in the ideas about the VCoE.
  • Progress in defragmentation of digital preservation efforts is organised through four thematically linked topics: trust, sustainability, usability and access. Integration and examination of results within the first half of the project have been carried out in several APARSEN workshops at conferences and in a series of webinars with external experts. These results include:


A collection of Testing environments have been examined and the proposed common testing approach has been applied. The workpackage Testing environments provides a framework within which the efficacy and applicability of proposed preservation tools and techniques can be evaluated. Further details will be published soon on this site.


We have analysed and outlined the Preservation services landscape. This work resulted in a compilation of existing services and at the same time identified gaps in this area. Further details will be available soon.

Work on Storage solutions has drawn on the wide range of experience in APARSEN partners’ institutions. Current storage practices have been surveyed as a basis for comparison where applicable, evaluation of options and in consequence recommendations on storage solutions fulfilling digital preservation principles have been formulated. Further details are available in the report D23.1 Storage solutions summary of inputs.

Costs of digital preservation are a crucial question when it comes to implementation in institutions. Therefore APARSEN has analysed existing cost models for digital preservation and mapped them against efforts of introducing standards on audit and certification of digital repositories. Further details are available in the report D32.1 Report on cost parameters for digital repositories.

We have initiated the analyses of DP Business cases by examining the state of current implementation of practices in digital preservation among the community of research libraries, with a special focus on the economic and managerial aspects of such endeavors. Further details are available in the report D36.1 Business Preparedness Report.

We have identified Common standards as well as recognized standardisation gaps and standardisation activities in domains of Libraries and Museums, Publishing, Industry and Science. We have produced a database of standards that will continue to be updated and made accessible on the APARSEN website.

We have set up a publicly accessible software repository containing software and pointers to software together with descriptions, categorisations and annotations which will allow users to find appropriate tools for their requirements, and to provide evidence for this. Further details are available in the report D16.1 Software Repository.

We have addressed Interoperability and intelligibility issues and produced a report on interoperability objectives and guidelines for practical interoperability issues. Further details are available in the report D25.1 Interoperability objectives and approaches


On-going work has focused on defining added value services for Persistent identifiers that may be built on top of the interoperability framework previously defined. This work constitutes the basis for a prototype to be developed later in the project. Further details are available in the report D22.2 Description of a set of added value services for Persistent Identifier Interoperability Framework.

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