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This report provides an overview of selected national and multinational initiatives in digital preservation occurring outside North America. The report examines current digital preservation initiatives in Australia, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as related international initiatives. These countries and initiatives were chosen in consultation with LC and CLIR as being of particular relevance and interest to NDIIPP.

The report puts these initiatives into their national and international contexts and outlines the major developments. It is intended to provide a high-level survey. It does not aim to be exhaustive or detailed in terms of practice and procedures. This report presents the key findings from the survey and details of the main initiatives in each country. The LC will use the report to provide an international perspective on current initiatives that can inform the development of national policies and programs in the United States.

The survey was written for senior administrators and policy makers-that is, people who are not specialists in digital preservation or access to networked information. It is a high-level synthesis rather than a detailed document-a report that teases out significant issues and major lines of development and their implications. Although the report focuses on national digital preservation initiatives in libraries, it also refers to relevant significant developments in other sectors. The preservation of audiovisual resources has been included as an aspect of the national reporting, for example, the National Sound Archive as part of BL. Preservation of audiovisual material is not, however, a main focus of the report.

The survey is based on information gathered from desktop research and from data supplied by the national libraries between January and March 2002. In consultation with CLIR and LC, the author developed a questionnaire addressing specific aspects of the national libraries’ initiatives. The questionnaire also allowed the respondents to provide information about their respective national contexts and to identify related initiatives.

In addition to interviewing staff members in the national libraries, the author visited the BBC, which is the lead partner in the PRESTO project, and the Digital Longevity Digital Preservation Testbed in the Netherlands to learn more about these initiatives. After the interviews, the author sent interviewees the completed draft questionnaire and draft report section for their respective countries to obtain comments, additions, or corrections.

The following individuals were interviewed:

Bibliothèque nationale de France
Catherine Lupovici, Julien Masanès

British Broadcasting Corporation
Richard Wright

British Library
Helen Shenton, Crispin Jewitt

Digital Preservation Testbed, the Netherlands
Jacqueline Slats, Maureen Potter, Tamara van Zwol, Remco Verdegem, Bill Roberts, Ingmar Evers, David Bowen

Koninklijke Bibliotheek
Hans Jansen, Titia van der Werf, Johan Steenbakkers

National Library of Australia
Colin Webb, Margaret Phillips, Pam Gatenby

The research has been coordinated where appropriate with members of the Price Waterhouse Coopers consultancy, which LC commissioned to evaluate preservation technologies and system architectures.


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