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Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation at Georgetown University Library

Georgetown University Library has a strong commitment to the preservation and access of our collections for the use of our faculty and students long into the future. As digital content, digitized or born digital, becomes increasingly large components of our preservation responsibilities, we recognize the need to develop a strategy and to take action in the area of digital preservation. We developed the University’s Institutional Repository to manage and preserve our digital content. We also recognize that a collaborative approach is essential to meet the challenges involved in digital preservation. We have been members and supporters of collaborative efforts such as LOCKSS and Portico for selected licensed and purchased electronic resources. Most importantly, we believe that a well defined digital preservation strategy that adheres to standards and best practices is key to our success for providing long-term access to our digital content. It is an absolute that tomorrow’s technology will offer us better choices than we have today; and the strategy is subject to change as technology and standards evolve, impacting our ability to preserve digital content.

Our preservation strategy supports the following objectives:

  • Ensure the continued and persistent access to all digital content within our scope over time
  • Ensure the authenticity of the preserved digital content
  • Observe current standards and best practices related to the creation, maintenance and delivery of digital content and metadata established by the digital preservation community.
  • Commit to ongoing training and development of staff in areas related to digital preservation
  • Collaborate with campus, regional, and nationwide partners to make the best use of our two resources.
  • Adjust preservation strategies to incorporate the capabilities offered by new and emerging technologies and standards in a cost effective way

Partners and Resources

The LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) Program, based at Stanford University Libraries, is an open-source, library-led digital preservation system built on the principle that "lots of copies keep stuff safe." The LOCKSS system allows librarians at participating institutions to take custody of and preserve access to the e-content to which they subscribe, restoring the print purchase model with which librarians are familiar. Using their computers and network connections, libraries can obtain, preserve and provide access to purchased copies of e-content. The LOCKSS model restores libraries’ ability to build and preserve local collections.

Portico offers a permanent archive of e-journals and e-books, providing protection against the potential loss of access to e-literature integral to the Library’s collection. The Library benefits from preservation of a substantial and diverse range of content that is important to our users.

Academic Preservation Trust is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to providing both a preservation repository for digital content and collaboratively developed services related to that content. The APTrust repository accepts digital materials in all formats from member institutions, and provides redundant storage in the cloud. It is managed and operated by the University of Virginia and is both a deposit location and a replicating node for the Digital Preservation Network (DPN).

HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. Its mission is to contribute to research, scholarship, and the common good by collaboratively collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.

Contact us? Email digitalscholarship@georgetown.edu