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Digital Preservation and Data Curation

Digital preservation at the Bavarian State Library

Ensuring the long-term availability and accessibility of its digital holdings is a central part of the Bavarian State Library’s mission as a state and archival library. Its digital collections include digitized copies of cultural heritage as well as born-digital publications. The latter comprise publications from the library’s own production, electronic monographs and journals published by Bavarian public authorities, open access publications of scientific relevance to the library’s main collection focuses or to Bavarica as well as web archives. The library’s digital preservation strategy (PDF) was laid down in a detailed policy.

Digital preservation constantly poses new challenges to insitutions active in this field. The BSB therefore participates in research projects focusing on the development of innovative concepts and solutions, engages in standardization through collaboration in DIN (German Institute for Standardization) and is a partner in the German competence network nestor promoting networking, exchange, qualification and certification in the area of digital preservation.

Information on past projects can be found in our web archive.

Mission of digital preservation

Rapid technological changes in hardware and software, especially in data carriers and in file and data formats, as well as the volatility of resources on the World Wide Web can endanger the availability and accessibility of digital resources. These risks must be addressed with appropriate organizational, technical and library-specific measures.

The tasks of digital preservation include:

  1. Identification and specification of a small number of file formats suitable for long-term use for various types of material

  2. Assignment of persistent identifiers such as Uniform Resource Names (URNs) to secure access to electronic resources

  3. Quality control and validation of the digital object before archiving

  4. Secure management and storage on different storage media and in different locations

  5. Documentation of all changes to the object and its metadata during the life cycle of the digital object

  6. Risk assessment and initiation of long-term digital preservation measures as required, e.g. migration to an up-to-date data format

These tasks are supported by the technical infrastructure of the BSB's digital archive, which is based on Rosetta, a digital asset management and preservation solution provided by Ex Libris/Proquest.

Deposit and digital preservation of electronic publications

The Bavarian State Library is the central state and archival library of Bavaria. For more information on the library’s state-wide services visit the Legal Deposit Unit or Official Publications.

In accordance with the decree of the Bavarian State Government of December 2, 2008 (Ref.: B II 2-480-30) (PDF) on the submission of official publications to libraries, all authorities, departments and institutions of the Free State of Bavaria are required to submit their (electronic) publications to the Bavarian State Library. Electronic official publications are stored permanently and made available online unless the publisher has restricted or prohibited access. The BSB has set up a web-based deposit, through which publications can be uploaded conveniently by staff of the depositing institutions. The Bavarian State Library makes all electronic publications accessible and in general freely available via its catalog. In addition, the BSB is building up collections of electronic publications within the scope of its collection emphasis (Bavarica, Music, Eastern Europe, Classical Studies and History). These publications are also preserved, provided that an authorization for archiving and delivery has been granted accordingly.

If publishers, publishing institutions or individual authors wish to submit their digital publications to the BSB, we’ll gladly check the relevance to the collection. Prior to digital preservation, the library must be given an appropriate permission for archiving and delivery (PDF).

Further information on the deposit of electronic publications can be found in our FAQ. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Web Archive

Social, political, cultural and scientific activity today is largely reflected in the internet and on Social Media. In order to ensure the preservation of the web's digital cultural heritage and the continued supply of scientific information on the web for future generations, institutions worldwide systematically collect, catalog and archive websites. As part of its state-wide service as well as its collection emphasis (Bavarica, Music, Eastern Europe, Classical Studies, History), the BSB has been archiving websites since 2012, making them permanently accessible to the public for science and research. For legal reasons, the BSB only includes websites in its collection for which explicit permission (PDF) has been granted or which, according to the decree of the Bavarian State Government of December 2, 2008 (Ref.: B II 2-480-30) (PDF) on the submission of official publications to libraries, are to be permanently stored and made accessible by the BSB.

The Web Curator Tool is used for archiving websites. This open source software offers integrated processing from obtaining permission, through to automated harvesting followed by intellectual quality control up to archiving. The integrated web crawler "Heritrix" follows the link structure of the websites during the harvesting process and collects the found pages. External links to other sites and password-protected areas of a website are not part of the crawl. This process is repeated regularly at semi-annual intervals, so that a website is archived at different points in time reflecting the respective status at the given moment. The digital preservation is carried out in the Rosetta system from Ex Libris/ProQuest.

The Bavarian State Library makes all archived websites searchable and publicly available via its catalog (example of a Web Archive in the OPACplus). The “Wayback” viewer offers the user a chronological overview of all captures of an archived website, which can then be accessed individually. The web archives are also available for scientific research in the subject portals and the Bavarian Bibliography.

Further information on web archiving can be found in our FAQ. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Data Curation

For the BSB as a multimedia information service provider for science, a sustainable management of digital resources (content and metadata) is particularly important. The quality criteria of digital resources have to be specified with regard to current and future requirements of the target groups. The quality of digital resources must be preserved throughout their entire life cycle.

The tasks of Data Curation include

  • identification of high-quality, sustainable file and data formats for different media types

  • creation of own policies that take into account the specific quality requirements

  • the use of tools to validate data and check quality requirements

  • the use of suitable metadata to ensure the integrity and authenticity, as well as the quality of the data throughout its entire life cycle

  • sustainable management of storage infrastructures

  • digital preservation

  • advising other library departments on questions regarding the quality of digital resources and the sustainability of file and data formats