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Topic of the Month

Digital Repositories



Traditionally it has been relatively easy to build a repository for physical objects: it is a building into which the objects are placed. Traditional repositories usually offer a number of key features that hinge on the correct management of the deposited object: security of the objects, trust that the object will remain the same over time, and it also has environmental control for the well-being of the object. Digital repositories must offer the same features if they are to be widely utilised. To do this however is proving very difficult. The non-physicality of digital objects offer many problems. The ability to change them easily, to have multiple copies and versions of them coupled with the evolving software and the sustanability issues surrounding the physical carriers of data pose theoretical, philosphical and technical problems which in many ways are different from those issues surrounding traditional repositories.

Below are some resources that discuss a number of the issues surrounding digital repositories. There are papers from ERPANET's recent seminar on Trusted Digital Repositories, commentaries on key literature, and various links to further ares of interest. If you have further questions on digital repositories please use ERPANET's advisory service to ask our experts.


Rome Workshop on Trusted Digital Repositories

Copenhagen Seminar on the OAIS Model


ERPANET has set up its own repository for material on digital preservation. Please register, deposit and browse the documents at