A catalyst for action: New Handbook provides practical guidance in Digital Preservation

(23 June 2016) A new edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook was officially launched at the Guildhall in York yesterday, updating the original version first published in 2001.

Available free of charge on the Digital Preservation Coalition website, the newly unveiled Handbook provides a range of practical tools to help preserve digital materials. Acknowledging and embracing the importance of digital information to today’s culture, knowledge base and economy, the Handbook also identifies good current practice in creating, managing and preserving this rapidly growing and valuable asset.

“By providing a strategic overview of the key issues, strategies and activities, the Handbook is a real, useful and practical guide to help organisations identify and take appropriate action in preserving their digital collections,” explains Handbook Managing Editor Neil Beagrie.

Recognising the presence of definite challenges in digital preservation, the Handbook still provides hope for a bright digital future; pointing to many examples of great practice and suggestions for ways in which organisations can get started in digital preservation.

“Already we have made great strides in averting a “digital dark age,” adds William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC). “There are a growing number of repositories all over the world that can claim a long track record of keeping digital materials well over many decades. And there are things we can all do. This handbook is intended as a catalyst for action for institutions of any kind.”

As lead funder, The National Archives in the UK with supplementary funding from the Archives and Records Association, British Library, Jisc, and National Records of Scotland, have provided a research grant to fund the full revision of the Digital Preservation Handbook. This work has been undertaken under the direction of William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC and editor Neil Beagrie, supported by an extensive advisory board and set of contributors.

Visit the handbook website.