While we have been looking after parchment, paper and other physical documents for centuries, digital material presents new challenges for both storage and retrieval. It is not just a matter of whether we can keep digital material permanently in a reliable way, but also if we do manage to do so, whether we can reproduce the data it contains in a consistent manner in the future
Our current system
We are fortunate in not having to deal with too much born-digital material at present, but we do need to prepare for this inevitable responsibility. At present our approach is simply to maintain multiple copies in stable storage conditions (primarily using LTO4 tapes). In many cases preservation metadata is also stored for the individual files in our Fedora 3 repository
Plans for the future
We are currently developing a Hydra based Fedora 4 repository which will include digital preservation workflows integrated into the repository's content ingestion.