Digital Preservation in Libraries: Preparing for a Sustainable Future

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  • About the authors
  • Reviews

In today’s information landscape, there are fewer topics that more urgently demand expansive discourse than digital preservation, which touches on everything from technology to copyright. The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) steps up to the challenge with this comprehensive overview. Global in scope, it features case studies and contributions that discuss such key issues as

  • the history of digital preservation;
  • digital preservation and information ethics;
  • strategies for getting started, sustaining digitization programs, and performing evaluation;
  • fine-tuning digital preservation workflows, with a look at Digital Streams Matrix for analyzing pathways and tasks;
  • preserving e-books, mobile device data, and other specific types of materials;
  • collaborative efforts in digital preservation, including jargon-free techniques for engaging non-technical colleagues in digital legacy tools and processes; and
  • the copyright, legal, and administrative issues connected with digital preservation.

Academic librarians, technical services staff, technologists, and administrators will all benefit from this incisive collection.

Introduction, by Jeremy Myntti and Jessalyn Zoom

Part I    History and Theories: What Is Digital Preservation?

  • Chapter 1    A Brief History of Digital Preservation, by Erin Baucom
  • Chapter 2    Digital Preservation as a Thought Experiment, by Ross Spencer

Part II        Frameworks, Strategies, and Systems

  • Chapter 3    Digital Preservation Policy and Strategy: Where Do I Start? by Christine Madsen and Megan Hurst
  • Chapter 4    Sustaining the Digital Investment: A Review of Digital Preservation Strategies, by Rosy Jan
  • Chapter 5    Defining Your Strategy for Digitizing Materials, by Camilla Tubbs and Angela Fang Wang
  • Chapter 6    “So Many Options, So Little Time”: How to Evaluate a Digital Preservation System That Is Right for Your Institution, by Angela Fritz
  • Chapter 7    Digital Preservation Should Be More Holistic: A Digital Stewardship Approach, by Somaya Langley

Part III    Digital Preservation in Individual Institutions

  • Chapter 8    Planning and Implementing Digital Preservation at the Miami University Libraries, by Ashley Jones and Eric Johnson
  • Chapter 9    “What Were We Thinking?” Successes and Lessons Learned after Going Live with Our Digital Preservation Program, by Tawnya Mosier Keller and Jeremy Myntti

Part IV    Digital Preservation of Specific Material Types

  • Chapter 10    A Perfect Ingest: Examining Our Assumptions of an Optimal Digital Ingest, by Leigh Rosin
  • Chapter 11    Digital Bibliodiversity at Scholars Portal: Bridging Standards and Practices for E-Books Preservation, by Grant Hurley
  • Chapter 12    Mobile Device Data Preservation for Cultural Heritage Institutions, by Amanda May

Part V    Collaborative Efforts in Digital Preservation

  • Chapter 13    LOCKSS Networks: Community-Based Digital Preservation, by Aaron Trehub, Corey Davis, Mark Jordan, Cinda May, and Sam Meister
  • Chapter 14    Could Collaborative Research between Two Major Libraries Help Consolidate Digital Preservation and Break the “Project Cycle”? by Edith Halvarsson, Sarah Mason, Lee Pretlove, David Gerrard, Somaya Langley, and James Mooney
  • Chapter 15    In Medias Res: An Examination of Work in Progress at the Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust) Consortium, by R. F. (Chip) German and Kara M. McClurken
  • Chapter 16    Networked Approaches to Preservation: Learning from Collaborative Digital Preservation Efforts, by Moriah Neils Caruso, Simon O’Riordan, Erin Wolfe, Liz Woolcott, Jennifer Mullins, and Drew Krewer

Part VI    Digital Preservation and Copyright

  • Chapter 17    Copyright Conundrums: Rights Issues in the Digitization of Library Collections, by Sara R. Benson
  • Chapter 18    Copyright and Digital Preservation: Legal and Administrative Issues, by Carla S. Myers

Appendix A: A Framework for Analyzing Copyright and Digitization Questions
About the Contributors

Jeremy Myntti

Jeremy Myntti, Associate University Librarian for Metadata and IT at Brigham Young University, is responsible for the administration of the library’s cataloging, metadata, archival processing, IT operations, software engineering, and user experience units. He has worked on digital library projects at multiple academic institutions and a library vendor for over 20 years. He received his MLIS from the University of Alabama.

Jessalyn Zoom

Jessalyn Zoom is head of the History and Military Science Section in the Acquisition and Bibliographic Access Directorate at the Library of Congress. She was formerly acting BIBCO program coordinator for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), a consortium that influences metadata best practices and provides training to members worldwide. Through her work in the PCC, she developed cataloging expertise and served as a trainer. Zoom holds an MLS degree as well as an MA in Asian studies, both from the University of Iowa. Her areas of interest are in workflow efficiency and competency in technical services.


The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

"[This book] sets a foundation for the topic and explores the idea in different ways and from different perspectives. Because of the anthology nature of this book, chapters vary in terms of voice, format, and technical jargon, but they all nibble at important aspects of the topic as a whole."

"A good book for both new digital preservationists as well as those at intermediate and advanced levels who could benefit from reading different perspectives on the practice and learn from the several use cases presented. It could be read from beginning to end or cherry-picked for topics that are most relevant to one’s individual needs."
— Technicalities

"Highly recommended for any library about to begin or in the midst of a digital preservation project."
— Catholic Library World