From Talking to Doing: Digital Preservation at the British Library

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From Talking to Doing: Digital Preservation at the British Library

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Title: From Talking to Doing: Digital Preservation at the British Library
Author: Shenton, Helen
Citation: Shenton, Helen. 2000. From talking to doing: Digital preservation at the British library. New Review of Academic Librarianship 6(1): 163—177.
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Abstract: What are the core competencies that a national library needs to address the preservation of digital material? What skills are needed, by whom, when, to do what? Are the skills available externally, or is it better to develop people within the library? How are preservation philosophies and IT philosophies attuned? How is the preservation of digital material managed in a matrical and distributed way within a large organisation?
This paper describes how the British Library (BL) is addressing the preservation of digital material, in particular how it is working on the preservation component of the Digital Library System (DLS) and how it is resolving the preservation issues as they arise during the implementation of the DLS. It includes how it is working with other organisations, such as Cedars, on digital preservation, and how it is opening itself to being studied as it tackles the subject, for example, by being the main case history in the Arts and Humanities Data Service's research work on 'The Management of Digital Preservation'.
It will focus on staffing issues and practical issues. One of the quotes
from the AHDS interviewees for the Workbook for the management of digital preservation, was 'a lot of talk, not much action'. This paper
describes the transition from talking to doing across a range of activities demanded by digital development, from preserving bits and bytes, to conservation in preparation for digitisation.
Published Version: doi:10.1080/13614530009516807
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