Digital Preservation at Cultural Heritage Institutions in Sweden

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digisamloggaDigisam is a secretariat for National coordination of digitisation, digital preservation and digital access to cultural heritage, established by Swedish Government to coordinate the continued development work on digitisation issues and organised as a department of the National Archives in Sweden. One of the main tasks of Digisam is connected to a proposal on how coordinated and cost-effective preservation of digital cultural heritage information at Swedish state cultural heritage institutions that collect, preserve, and provide access to cultural heritage material, should be designed.

The objectives of this study is to present the results of the interviews made with some Swedish cultural heritage institutions between April 2013 and March 2014, the conclusions that can be made from the results, and what measures that should be taken in order to facilitate digital preservation in the cultural heritage sector in Sweden.

The new digital resources, in particular the “Web 2.0” and social media, have made it possible for cultural heritage institutions to make their collections available in a new and engaging way. But, in order to do so, the cultural heritage information must also be preserved in a reliable way.

The rapid development of technology decreases the sustainability of computer hardware and software to a few years. Although migration of stored cultural heritage information does not have to be made at the same rate, nevertheless this means that there is a need for continuous observation in order to ensure that measures can be taken in time to secure future access to cultural heritage information.

The amount of information that should be stored/preserved is rapidly growing within the and the institutions are not well prepared for this accumulation of data. The Swedish institutions are less prepared than their European counterparts.

A conclusion is that a roadmap for preservation (like the one that DCH-RP is developing) is of utmost importance for the Swedish CH sector: for defining what institutions should include in the preservation work, for deciding what measures that should be taken for a successful long-term preservation, and for how to proceed in general. Furthermore, common, shared, and preferably centralised resources are needed, both for cost-efficiency and for a higher quality of the information that is stored and preserved.

However, it should not be forgotten that preservation is not the final objective; the real success of the roadmap is fulfilled when citizens, companies, government agencies, scientists and researchers, schools, and developers can easily access and use the digital CHI.

 

Download here the full report.

 

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