May 19, 2022

Journal Article: “The Strategic Collaboration of Libraries in Digital Preservation”

The following case study was published today by LIBER Quarterly.


The Strategic Collaboration Of Libraries In Digital Preservation


Monika Zarnitz
ZBW-Leibniz Information Center for Economics (ZBW)

Thomas Bähr
Leibniz Information Center for Science and Technology – University Library (TIB)

Ursula Arning
ZB MED – Information Center for Life Sciences


LIBER Quarterly 29(1)


The German National Specialist Libraries cooperate closely in the field of digital preservation. One of the partners hosts the preservation system, while each library creates its own workflows and is free to ingest its digital material into this system. This paper delineates the factors for success of this collaboration. It describes the different aspects of collaboration in digital preservation and describes the benefits and costs of cooperation in this field as a case study.

Digital preservation is resource intensive and the required technology is complex. Therefore the libraries benefit from synergy effects: Reduced cost by sharing the preservation system, usage of similar workflows and formats of digital objects, work sharing in networking activities and staff training. The paper also stresses the advantages and difficulties while applying for certificates in a consortium. Their collaboration extends to intensive national and international networking activities, which yield more contacts than a single library could maintain if it acted on its own. The libraries’ staffs are active in working groups of nestor – the German network for digital preservation – and in working groups of the Open Preservation Foundation.

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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.