Cedars Project - Digital archiving

Subject: Cedars Project - Digital archiving
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: ti 19 touko† 1998 - 20:27:15 EEST

(posted to IFLA-L)

Apologies for cross-posting!

From: The Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL)

Announcing: The New **Cedars Project** - CURL exemplars in
digital archives

In recent years university libraries have included a growing number of
digital information resources in their collections. At present there
is no legal obligation nor are there formal mechanisms for ensuring
that such digital information is preserved for posterity. As
libraries' reliance upon such resources increases, they become
stakeholders in ensuring that those resources are maintained over the
longer term. They are responsible for ensuring that these resources
may be as accessible to users in 10, 20 or 200 years time as they are

Just as academic libraries have an ongoing responsibility for the
preservation and access of paper-based resources, they now have a new
and more complex responsibility for digital resources. For digital
materials, unlike paper, a library continues to have responsibility
for ensuring long-term access to them irrespective of whether the
burden for physically preserving that resource falls directly to the
library or to a third party agency. For example in the case of an
electronic journal, a publisher might have the ultimate role of
preserving the physical digital object but the research library is
responsible for providing long term access to this material for its

The need to devise strategies for digital preservation is both
pressing and immediate and these strategies will need to encompass all
forms of digital information resources.

With these issues in mind the Cedars project aims to address
strategic, methodological and practical issues and will provide
guidance for libraries in best practice for digital preservation.
In the UK, CURL (The Consortium of University Research Libraries) is
uniquely placed to lead this project. Digital preservation is a key
issue for all its members. Under the overall direction of the CURL
Management Board, Cedars will be based across three lead sites
(Oxford, Leeds and Cambridge). Wider involvement from the community
will come through focus groups, workshops and discussion lists.
CEDARS is a three year project funded by the Joint Information
Systems Committee (JISC) through the Electronic Libraries Programme

The project aims to investigate strategies which will ensure that the
digital information resources typically included in library
collections may, with other non-digital objects, be preserved over the
longer term. It order to achieve this aim the project plans to

* promote awareness about the importance of digital preservation,
both amongst university libraries and their users, and amongst the
data creating and data supplying communities upon which they depend.

* identify, document and disseminate strategic frameworks within which
individual libraries can develop collection management policies which
are appropriate to their needs and which can guide the necessary
decision-making to safeguard the long-term viability of any digital
resources which are included in their collections.

*investigate, document and promote methods appropriate to the
long-term preservation of different classes of digital resources
typically included in library collections, and to develop costed and
scaleable models, There is an enormous range of digital resources
(e.g. text, sound, pictures, moving images). In focusing on the
following categories ,the project intends to identify techniques which
can be generalised and extended to the full range of digital
 digitised primary resources
 electronic journals
 large online databases
 electronic ephemera
 digital resources in which the intellectual content in bound to
 structure, form and behaviour

In meeting its objectives, the project intends, wherever possible, to
make use of work that has already been done and to build upon existing
expertise in digital preservation and digital collection management.

Key deliverables of the project include:

*guidelines for developing collection management policies which will
ensure the long-term viability of any digital resources included in
the collection;

*demonstrator projects to test and promote the technical and
organisational feasibility of a chosen strategy for digital

*methodological guidelines developed by the demonstrator projects
providing guidance about how to preserve different classes of digital

*clearly articulated preferences about data formats, content models
and compression techniques which are most readily and cost-effectively

*publications of benefit to the whole higher education community,
available on the WWW


As project work evolves, all Cedars working papers and documentation
will be available at:

Cedars Web Site:

So watch this space......

General information about the JISC Electronic Libraries Programme
(eLib) can be found at:


Information about JISC is available at:


Kelly Russell
Cedars Project Manager
Edward Boyle Library
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
phone: (+44) (0)113 233 6386
fax: (+44) (0)113 233 5539
email: k.l.russell@leeds.ac.uk

Clare Jenkins
Cedars Project Director
London School of Economics
10 Portugal Street
London, WC2A 2HD
phone: (+44) (0)171 955 6314
fax: (+44) (0)171 955 7454
email: c.jenkins@lse.ac.uk

Many of the recommendations of the Follett Report1 related to ways in
which the use of information technology in the electronic library can
help to alleviate some of the problems of university libraries today.
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) established the
Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) as a direct response to the
Follett Report. The programme has a budget of about £15 million over
3 years, and its objectives include the use of IT to improve delivery
of information through increased use of electronic library services,
to allow academic libraries to cope better with growth, to explore
different models of intellectual property management and to encourage
new methods of scholarly publishing. Now in its third phase, eLib is
funding integration projects to build exemplar hybrid libraries (those
which provide access to both digital and non-digital materials)
including several Z39.50 pilot projects to link library catalogues.
Phase 3 will also directly address issues of concern for the long-term
preservation of and access to digital resources.

Kelly Russell
CEDARS Project Manager
Edward Boyle Library
The University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
phone: (+44) (0)113 233 6386
fax: (+44) (0)113 233 5539
email: k.l.russell@leeds.ac.uk

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