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Top > About Us > Ensuring long-term preservation and usability of digital information

Ensuring long-term preservation and usability of digital information

1. Introduction

Background

The National Diet Library (NDL) is the sole national deposit library in Japan, and as such is responsible for developing a comprehensive collection of publications issued in Japan and preserving them as valuable cultural heritage for future generations.

The "publications" the NDL should collect and preserve are not only items published in the traditional paper form but also packaged digital publications (e.g. CDs and DVDs) and Internet resources (e.g. websites).

The NDL has a mission to preserve them and ensure their usability in the long term, in addition to printed materials.

Fragile digital information

However, digital information is much more fragile than paper.

  • Lifespan of digital media is very short compared with printed materials.
  • Internet resources tend to vanish very often.
  • The use of digital information requires specific playback equipment that is compatible with its file format, recording media, PC, OS or application software. These are at risk of becoming obsolete.
  • Easy to falsify.
  • Difficult to ensure true and correct copy.

Since FY2002, the NDL has been conducting studies for ensuring long-term preservation and usability of digital information. For more information, please see "2. Activities of the NDL."

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