Preservation Policy of the three German National Libraries

Version 1 published 1st November 2014
Version 2 published 14th February 2017

1. General information
1.1. Cooperation of the three German National Libraries

The three German National Libraries – TIB (Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, Hannover), ZB MED (Information Centre for Life Sciences, Cologne/Bonn) and ZBW (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel/Hamburg) - jointly operate a digital preservation system.

The “Digital Preservation” working group manages the operational running of the digital preservation (DP) system (Rosetta software by the company Ex Libris). In addition, the partners’ interests vis-à-vis cooperation partners and networks are represented jointly in the area of digital preservation (e.g. nestor, Open Preservation Foundation).

The working group meets several times each year; telephone conferences are held on a regular basis.

In addition to this joint digital preservation policy, each partner institution has its own institutional policy[1] that fleshes out the joint digital preservation strategies with regard to circumstances specific to the institution.

Moreover, operation of the joint DP system shall be documented in writing. This documentation shall cover all issues relating to the entire consortium; it shall be revised and adapted on a regular basis, and shall be available to all employees involved in digital preservation at all times. 

1.2. Joint training measures

If required, joint training measures will be provided, including participation in workshops, training events and continuous exchange so as to ensure the operation of the digital preservation archives and the preservation of the digital collections. The partners also jointly engage in the German-speaking Rosetta User Group (DRAG) and the Rosetta User Group (RUG).

1.3. Financing 

All three partners shall finance the digital preservation system and the human resources responsible for it from their own resources, which are firmly fixed in each cooperation partner’s annual budget. The costs of jointly operating the system are currently borne equally by all three institutions.

Each partner has its own team that is firmly embedded in each institution’s structure and organisational chart. TIB is the Rosetta software licensee. Together with its partners ZB MED and ZBW, TIB has established cooperative agreements concerning the use and operation of the DP system. TIB hosts, operates and administers the DP system, and provides partners with access to the system. 

2. Digital preservation

2.1. Target groups

The digital preservation of digital objects is geared towards the library’s respective user groups. In addition, designated employees in the respective institutions are considered internal user groups. Both internal and external user groups shall be defined in more detail in each institution’s institutional policy.

2.2. Data availability and access 

TIB shall ensure that the other two partners have access to the DP system and the archive packages it contains. The DP system is subdivided into a development system, a test system and a productive system.

The partners are responsible for the provision of digital objects for external user groups. 

If digital objects are provided to external users via a system other than the DP system, the DP system shall manage the archive files. Access to this data is provided solely by trained personnel. The roles and rights concept configured in Rosetta ensures that employees only have access to areas for which they have authorisation. 

The DP system may also ensure access to usage copies in the future.

2.3. Legal framework conditions

Each partner is responsible for ensuring compliance with legal framework conditions concerning data protection and copyright. Legal framework conditions are taken into account concerning data archiving and access.

Access to the long-term digital archives is managed by a rights and roles concept. Retention and protection periods may be specified where appropriate. 

2.4. Selection criteria for digital material

Materials are selected at the institutional level; selection corresponds to each institution’s collection profile or mandate. 

When setting priorities for digital preservation, criteria such as the state of preservation of data carriers and the features of individual parts of collections such as sole possession in Germany/Europe/worldwide shall be taken into consideration in addition to the mandate.

2.5. Security aspects of the digital preservation archives

Measures shall be taken, as far as is technically possible, to ensure the security and trustworthiness of the long-term digital archives. 

These measures shall comply with established best practice and standards in the area of digital preservation. These measures shall be evaluated on a regular basis; the documentation of such evaluations shall be available to all employees involved in digital preservation at all times. 

2.6. Exit strategy

If necessary, digital objects can be extracted from the digital archives including all metadata and made available for use outside the DP system currently used jointly. They shall be made available regardless of further use. The data structure for transfer shall be documented.

2.7. Preservation measures

The partners are responsible for taking necessary preservation measures. Such measures include maintaining the integrity (unchanged objects are available) and authenticity (the object is what it purports to be and its presentation corresponds to the original) of objects. The aim is to maintain the interpretability of digital objects. Appropriate measures are based on current best practice, and are continuously reviewed and adapted as required. 

There shall be no entitlement to certain preservation measures. The DP system provides the framework for preservation measures. The partners are responsible for selecting suitable procedures and for using and integrating the software required for such procedures.

3. Review of DP policy 

In order to ensure that this document is always up-to-date, it shall be revised annually and adapted and updated as and when required.