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Ensuring that an organisation's digital assets are safe, secure and accessible for the long term should (in theory) be an interesting, responsible and useful role for anyone in an organisation to accept. The critical importance of digital assets, the ubiquity of digital methods and the need for people in all walks of life to have effective means to refer to persistent sources of data reinforce this notion. How is it then that long-term asset management, information lifecycle management, data curation, digital preservation (call it what you will) is often regarded as a peripheral specialist activity that it is diffcult to resource, complex to carry out, and delivers benefits that are, at best, simply an insurance policy rather than an activity that adds value to an organisation?
This presentation will examine the importance of defining clear roles for those involved with digital preservation and will consider the importance of associating this professional activity with strategic and tactical frameworks. It is likely that automated services will increasingly be required to deal with the collosal amount of digital information that will be produced and consumed over the next century and whilst the type and nature of these services are yet to be defined, we can be fairly certain of one endurng requirement, namely, that human judgement will always be needed to curate interesting and useful content for future generations.