Preserv 2 final report 'candid and realistic'
The final report from the Preserv 2 project has been described by the JISC programme manager responsible for funding the project, Neil Grindley, as ‚ÄĚcandid and realistic about the ... more
Project Partners

Oxford University Library Services ECS, University of Southampton The National Archives
Project Advisors
The British Library
Funded By

PRESERV 2 is funded by JISC within its capital programme in response to the September 06 call (Circular 04/06), Repositories and Preservation strand

PRESERV was originally funded by JISC within the 4/04 programme Supporting Digital Preservation and Asset Management in Institutions, theme 3: Institutional repository infrastructure development


EMAIL: Steve Hitchcock, Project Manager

TEL: +44 (0)23 8059 3256
FAX: +44 (0)23 8059 2865

PRESERV Project,
IAM (Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia) Group,
Department of Electronics & Computer Science,
University of Southampton,
SO17 1BJ, UK
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Preservation Services

Active Preservation

March 2009 - Preservation services, in Preserv, focus on managing file and storage formats for repositories. This is the most technical area of this work, and therefore requires tools to automate the processes and services to assist in their deployment. To find out why formats matter, see this RSP/Preserv tutorial briefing paper.
The sub-divided preservation process
Sub-dividing technical preservation processes: seamless flow

This approach is modelled on 'seamless flow' elaborated by the National Archives (TNA), and involves 'active preservation':

  1. checking the digital bits, to ensure file consistency and authenticity
  2. analysing the files
    • identifying, characterising and validating the format of a digital object
    • invoking a trusted analysis of the risks posed by the identified format to make a recommendation of appropriate action, if any
  3. acting on the recommendation
These processes are implemented with reference to technical registry services, such as PRONOM from TNA, which was used in Preserv2.

Preserv got as far as stage 2, that is, we can identify the objects in a repository, and we have shown we can invoke a current registry to classify the digital objects and present a hierarchy of risk scores for a repository. Critically, the registry doesn't yet have any data for the risks. It has recently been developed and updated with the facility to hold these risk analyses (PRONOM v7), and the detailed criteria have been elaborated, but the analyses have not been done yet. It was intended such analyses would be done for selected formats that occur commonly in, or have particular relevance to, institutional repositories.

An important outcome from Preserv is that we provide some test results for the processes developed to date. The significance of this is the tools we have used from TNA - including DROID (digital record object identification service), an automated downloadable service, as well as PRONOM, the technical knowledge registry - are in the public domain and widely used, and these results inform the reliability and optimum use of the tools going forward. It is particularly vital that tools intended to improve the reliability of digital data management are themselves shown to be reliable.
1/8 Testing format classification --->

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