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Cambridge University Library


Digital preservation research is concerned with the preservation and protection of the digital assets produced and collected at Cambridge University Library. Digital preservation aims to ensure that digital materials collected by Cambridge University Library are, over time, reliable, authentic and accessible sources of information and research. We also aim to ensure that digital materials have not degraded nor become damaged or corrupted. For the digital materials we receive that have degraded, digital forensic techniques can be employed to repair the damaged materials. However, by working with the creators of the materials that we want to preserve at an eary stage, we aim to elimate retrospective repair of older digital materials. The research approach has been designed holistically to address digital preservation activity not only through technical infrastructure and tools development, but also through developing policy framework and staff development.

Current research has significantly focussed upon the preservation of digital materials held in Cambridge University Library's Special Collections, its institutional repository, Apollo and the Cambridge Digital Library. Research has also examined the provision of electronic subscriptions and electronic legal deposit. Present research efforts have been generously funded by the Polonsky Foundation.

Since August 2016, a joint project between Cambridge University Library and Bodleian Libraries Oxford has been running, called the Digital Preservation at Oxford and Cambridge Project. Six Fellowships for a two year period were funded by the Polonsky Foundation with three Fellows based in each institution. Cambridge University Library currently has three Fellows researching aspects of policy and planning, technical, and University outreach and staff development with the remit in providing recommendations for future digital preservation activities.