Cultivate, Assess, Advocate, Implement, and Sustain: A Five-Point Plan for Successful Digital Preservation Collaborations

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Purpose: For libraries with limited resources, digital preservation can seem like a daunting responsibility. Forming partnerships can help build collective knowledge and maximize combined resources to achieve digital preservation goals. Design/methodology/approach: In 2015, librarians from four institutions in Montana formed the Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG), a collaboration to increase digital preservation efforts statewide. The group’s immediate goals were to promote digital preservation best practices at each individual institution, as well as to learn about and support each other’s work. The group’s long-term goal was to implement a shared digital preservation service that would fill gaps in existing digital preservation efforts. Findings: Beyond the cost savings gained by sharing a digital preservation service, the members of DPWG benefitted from shared knowledge and expertise gained during the partnership. The group also functioned as a sounding board as each institution built its digital preservation program, and it became a system of support when challenges arose. Practical implications: This article proposes a five-point plan for creating digital preservation partnerships: (1) Cultivate a foundation of knowledge and identify a shared vision; (2) Assess the current digital preservation landscape at each institution; (3) Advocate for the value of digital preservation activities; (4) Implement shared digital preservation services; (5) Sustain group activities and establish structures for ongoing support. Value: The activities of DPWG provide a model for institutions seeking to collaborate to meet digital preservation challenges. This article demonstrates that by implementing a structured plan, institutions can build and sustain digital preservation partnerships, thus positioning themselves to achieve digital preservation success.




Mannheimer S, Cote C (2017) Cultivate, assess, advocate, implement, and sustain: a five-point plan for successful digital preservation collaborations. Digital Library Perspectives 33(2).
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