Report Open Access

The use of Preservation tools among Dutch Heritage organisations

Ania Molenda

This report is based on the results of a survey 'Digital Tools in The Netherlands 'conducted in 2019 as part of the project Preservation tools (greserveringstools) of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network. It was carried out among the twenty-seven heritage organisations which in 2018 reported that they have a digital repository. It focussed on understanding how those institutions use automation for processing digital collections at the level of pre-ingest and ingest. The survey looking at the current state of tool usage, but also at future needs, the development of workflows, the use of standards and the influence of the quality of acquired collections on pre-ingest workflows.

From the research it is clear that these heritage organizations face challenges at different levels. Many of them are still developing and implementing their digital preservation systems. Some are ready and willing to improve the systems and workflows they have in place to process bigger and more complex collections faster, but at the moment only a few can implement advanced improvements such as chain-automation and quality control. Several institutions recognize the need for pre-ingest in their workflows and report that automating parts of pre-ingest and ingest is relevant to them. That is the case not only for institutions with large and/or complex collections, but also for small institutions that do not have the manpower to process even relatively small collections without the help of preservation tools. It is also clear that digital collections are changing both in scope and level of complexity. For more than half of the interviewed organizations, digital collections will change in the coming two years and will include a bigger array of complex digital objects such as social media, email, and three-dimensional digital objects.

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