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Article by Jeffrey Darlington in TNA’s RecordKeeping magazine, Summer 2004. Nearly 4 years old now, of course.

Digital Archive

TNA established a Digital Preservation Dept to preserve the increasing number of born-digital records which UK government departments were creating, and to offer guidance on digipres issues to the wider community. In April 2003 TNA’s Digital Archive was launched. The Digital Archive “uses open standards and technologies wherever possible, including extensive use of Java and XML. The system stores electronic records with their associated preservation metadata.” The DA can store WP docs, emails, websites, sound, video and databases.

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Published by the National Council on Archives, 2005. The only reference to digipres I can see is section 2.3.3, Ensuring appropriate developments in electronic preservation.

“‘Born digital’ and digitised materials provide a new challenge to the domain. Electronic records are a reality in 21st century Britain with distinct characteristics that archives must be able to deal with. There are complex issues that need to be addressed to ensure the safe keepingof these records and The Digital Preservation Coalition was set up in 2001 to co-ordinate action. The NCA is co-ordinating a working group of key partners on digital preservation which is producing a digital preservation handbook and advocacy document in autumn 2005. There is a danger that funders consider these records to be too ‘new’to warrant a substantial outlay of resources to ensure their preservation. However, the nature of these materials mean that there are important preservation issues to be considered from their creation, such as whether information needs to be migrated from proprietary software to open standards and what are the best storage methods for the materials in the short and longer term.

Establishing basic capacity to achieve this is clearly an issue for core funders. There have been some positive steps forward, for example in 2004 The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) awarded grants of over £1 million to nine UK educational institutions and their partners to support digital preservation in higher and further education, however there is scope for much more work to be done. The NCA would welcome further additional funding into the domain to address these issues and to demonstrate commitment to preserving current records for posterity.”

OK. The case study given is TNA’s Digital Archive, launched 2003. Full report is here.