Digital preservation recommendations for small museums

Digital preservation recommendations for small museums
Source: Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI)

Digital preservation standards exist and are well established. But some of the requirements laid out in these standards are beyond the resources of smaller cultural heritage institutions, such as community museums. Digital archiving systems, for instance, cost money and require time investments that volunteer-run or single-employee organizations either don’t have or can’t make. Obtaining a trusted digital repository (TDR) certification, or even maintaining a digital archive that conforms to the open archival information system (OAIS) framework, is simply not possible. Yet the alternative to doing nothing, or doing nothing more than backups, leaves these organizations exposed to unnecessary risks.

To assist small and medium-sized institutions, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) created a set of digital preservation recommendations. These recommendations are based on CHIN’s experience in three areas:

  • implementing digital preservation plans and policies in smaller cultural heritage institutions,
  • delivering digital preservation workshops to small organizations and
  • collecting feedback from the presentation of its work to the Digitization and Digital Preservation Discussion Group, an informal group of digitization and digital preservation experts from across Canada.