Digital Curation and Preservation


Digital Content Management Coordination

Digital Curation and Preservation (DCP) is responsible for coordinating within Curation and Preservation Services (CPS), across the Libraries and beyond to ensure that MIT Libraries has long-term access to all of its digital content. As a leader in the curation and preservation community, MIT Libraries is committed to:

  • Collecting, preserving, and providing long-term access to selected digital content in any format that enables and extends research and learning at MIT and beyond.
  • Continuing to demonstrate leadership and to model good practice in the areas of digital curation and preservation.
  • Aligning with prevailing standards and practice for digital curation and preservation as the technology, tools, and approaches for effective long-term use and re-use emerge and evolve.

Digital Curation and Preservation Principles

These ten principles encapsulate the fundamentals of current standards and practice for digital curation and preservation. Any organization with long-term responsibility for digital content should strive to achieve the outcomes that are specified in these principles. The principles were adopted by MIT Libraries in August 2013 as a frame for developing and maintaining a sustainable program for digital curation and preservation. There are activities underway or planned for each of these principles and achieving this cumulative set of objectives will be documented here.

  1. Identify the digital content within our scope of responsibility
    MIT Libraries is producing a high-level inventory of its existing and anticipated digital content.
  2. Specify the digital content we intend to preserve
    MIT Libraries will continually evaluate to prioritize the portion of its content to preserve.
  3. Establish requirements for storing files in preservation formats
    MIT Libraries will identify preservation requirements specific to each digital content type.
  4. Determine (and review) our best option(s) for storing our digital content
    MIT Libraries will actively maintain storage that is appropriate to its content and affordable.
  5. Verify that our digital content is secure during day-to-day activities
    MIT Libraries will address the rights, confidentiality, and security requirements for its content.
  6. Ensure that our digital content is prepared for an emergency
    MIT Libraries will extend its disaster planning program to explicitly include digital content.
  7. Develop (and review) plans for managing digital content over time
    MIT Libraries will establish and sustain effective preservation planning for its digital content.
  8. Define a standards-based framework to develop and manage our DCP program
    MIT Libraries will define and maintain a compliant curation and preservation framework.
  9. Demonstrate that long-term access t is the purpose of digital preservation
    MIT Libraries will take steps to enable long-term access, as needed, to its digital collections.
  10. Stipulate that the means to deliver digital content to users will remain current
    MIT Libraries will leverage contemporaneous technologies to provide access to its content.


Curation and Preservation Services adapted these principles as part of its role in coordinating activities across the life cycle to ensure the effective long-term management of MIT Libraries’ digital content.

These guiding principles were adapted from the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE): Operating Principles (ver. 2.0) developed in 2011 by Nancy McGovern for the DPOE program sponsored by the Library of Congress.