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Dr. Mathias Jehn

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Digital Preservation in the Long Term: Prerequisites for the Conservation of Digital Objects in Europe

The conservation of digital objects in the long term is gaining importance in Europe, as the recent EU conference, "The Challenge: Long-Term Preservation Strategies and Practices of European Partnerships" made clear. Held on 20 and 21 April 2007 in Frankfurt am Main, conference participants unanimously agreed that no one nation alone can tailor a strategy to ensure the long-term availability of digital resources in the present era of rapid technological change. The current major investments Europeans are making in digitisation and digital content could prove futile if we fail to develop a sustainable strategy to preserve digital resources over the long term. The technical and operational basis required to ensure the long-term preservation - and the long-term accessibility - of digital assets across Europe will require Member States to undertake great efforts. The exact nature of these efforts, and the opportunities associated with enhanced collaboration - were discussed in Frankfurt in three thematic areas: "Development and Safeguarding of Infrastructure", "Implementation of Standards and Certification Procedures", and "Practical Recommendations". The approaches discussed in Frankfurt will be implemented in nestor, the German network of expertise in the long-term storage of digital resources.

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