Supporting institutions in long-term digital asset management and preservation forms a central theme of JISC's Digital Preservation and Records Management programme.

Digital preservation & records management programme

Digital preservation can be defined as the series of managed activities necessary to ensure meaningful continued access, for as long as it is required, to digital objects and materials

Preservation of digital resources is of increasing importance to a wide range of activities for UK universities. In addition to creating and licensing electronic content, the sector is also a major user of, and heavily dependent on, digital resources created or curated by others including publishers, government and national libraries and archives. Researchers, students, staff and institutions require ongoing availability and confidence in the future accessibility of these materials. Curation and preservation of digital information has been identified by the Office of Science and Technology (OST) working group on e-Infrastructure as one of six key components the future national e-Infrastructure.

JISC has been one of the leading institutions worldwide in undertaking research and development relating to the long-term preservation of digital materials. Some of the more high-profile initiatives that JISC has wholly or partially funded are: the Cedars Project, the Arts & Humanities Data Service, the UK Data Archive and the Digital Curation Centre. JISC has also worked collaboratively with national and international partners including the British Library, the US Library of Congress, the US National Science Foundation and the SURF Foundation (Netherlands). JISC was also one of the founding members of both the UK Web Archiving Consortium (UKWAC) and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), and continues to play an active role in supporting and promoting the activities of both of these organisations.

JISC Programmes

Though these partnership activities are critical, the principle benefit of the various iterations of the preservation programme over the years has been the outputs of the many projects that have been funded via various community calls for projects. These have included:

'Supporting Institutional Records Management' (2003) - 17 projects funded

'Supporting Institutional Digital Preservation and Asset Management' (2004 - 2006) - 11 projects funded

'Digital Preservation and Records Management' (2007 – 2009) - 10 projects funded

'Preservation Exemplars' (2009 - 2011) - 4 projects funded

Preservation Tools and Preservation of Complex Objects' (2011)- 6 projects funded

The purpose of JISC funded projects in the area of digital preservation is to achieve the following objectives:

  • a clearer definition of the roles and responsibilities for digital preservation at national and institutional levels
  • a broader agreement on how to preserve a wide variety of digital objects
  • an increase in the support available for people wishing to preserve materials
  • an increase in institutional capacity to carry out (at least some) appropriate digital preservation activities
  • the adoption of digital preservation as an item on the strategic planning agendas of institutions
  • an increase in the quality of tools available to carry out digital preservation
  • an increase in the availability of ‘best-practice’ models for digital preservation
  • the setup of sustainable, shared preservation infrastructures and services
  • a broader understanding of the importance of digital preservation measures throughout the entire life-cycle of digital resources
  • a more thorough understanding of all digital preservation related issues through engagement with relevant national and international communities
  • more focused and effective funding of digital preservation related work

For more information about the Digital Preservation programme, contact Neil Grindley (Digital Preservation Programme Manager)


  • Neil Grindley, Programme Manager, Digital Infrastructure (Digital Preservation)

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6059

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7816 277 573


    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377

  • Rachel Bruce, Innovation Director, Digital Infrastructure

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6061

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7841 951 300


    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377