May 28, 2022

Conference Paper: Puzzling Over Digital Preservation – Identifying Traditional and New Skills Needed for Digital Preservation

This paper will be presented at the World Library and Information Congress : 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly scheduled to take place in about a month in San Juan.


Puzzling Over Digital Preservation – Identifying Traditional and New Skills Needed for Digital Preservation (14 pages; PDF)


Thomas Bahr (German National Library of Science and Technology, Germany)
Michelle Lindler (German National Library of Medicine, Cologne, Germany)
Sven Vlaeminck (German National Library of Economics, Germany


Digital preservation is a task requiring library and information science as well as information technology skills. It simultaneously utilizes traditional library skills and requires knowledge from information technology that goes far beyond the traditional roles of library and archive staff. But where does one start when implementing a digital preservation program? What knowledge is needed? What tasks can be covered by existing personnel? Where can one acquire expert knowledge needed? What information resources exist? Can a scalable approach be implemented to gain necessary skills? The paper is based upon a gap analysis conducted by the Leibniz Library Network for Research Information “Goportis”. It describes necessary know-how identified, ranging from digital curation skills needed to evaluate digital data carriers to specialist digital preservation knowledge of file formats needed to describe information with the goal of sustaining accessiblilty over long-term. It shows how central tasks of digital preservation like process description and preservation planning require expert knowledge of traditional librarian and information technology skills as well as new knowledge which is described as digital preservation skills.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: “What Skills Does a Digital Archivist or Librarian Need?” by Bill LeFurgy (via The Signal)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.