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Open Access Publications from the University of California

e-Infrastructure and Digital Preservation: Challenges and Outlook


Undoubtedly, long-term preservation has raised a great deal of attention worldwide, but in a broader perspective the attention is out of proportion compared to the number of real operational solutions – not to mention the big picture of a comprehensive digital preservation infrastructure. Up to now, the existing digital preservation infrastructure mainly consists of a small number of scattered trusted long-term archiving data repositories, which have the control of and the responsibility for our digital heritage. The ongoing discussion on e-Infrastructure points out that we are still lacking reliable structures which support the expected integrated digital preservation infrastructure provided jointly by cultural heritage organizations, data centers and data producers. The slow development towards a global integrated digital preservation infrastructure in combination with adjacent pressing questions for the information infrastructure in general has led to an extended strategic discussion within the last years in Europe and the US: In studies, position papers and evaluation approaches we find elaborated building blocks for a roadmap and definitions for a more advanced landscape. With a focus especially on the German situation and on existing and ongoing practical experiences, the paper discusses reasons and strategic aspects which maybe can illuminate the prohibitive factors for the unassertive progress.

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