Chronicles in Preservation: Preserving Digital News and Newspapers

Nick Krabbenhoeft 1 , Katherine Skinner 2 , Matt Schultz 2 ,  and Frederick Zarndt 3
  • 1 Educopia Institute, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2 Educopia Institute
  • 3 IFLA Newspapers Section


Since the mid-1990s, libraries and archives have been digitizing newspapers for preservation and access. The standards used for this work have evolved significantly. Today’s collections employ digitization, metadata extraction and standards, and file formats that are different from those used for early collections. Increasingly, libraries and archives also include borndigital material. Given the importance of newspapers as primary documents of history, libraries and archives must preserve their digitized and born-digital collections carefully. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)1 has funded the Chronicles in Preservation project to study the preservation readiness of digital newspaper collections. Led by the Educopia Institute (, the project has brought together seven academic libraries in the U.S. and three distributed digital preservation (DDP) systems-MetaArchive, Chronopolis, and the University of North Texas’s Coda repository. These partners are accomplishing a range of activities. First, they investigated community standards, specifications, and practices for digital newspaper collections and distilled this information into a set of Guidelines for Digital Newspaper Preservation Readiness. Second, they exported collections from libraries and ingested them into the DDP systems, documenting these test exchanges in a Comparative Anaysis of Distributed Digital Frameworks. Finally, the project is augmenting a set of existing digital preservation tools to simplify the packaging and exchange of digital newspaper collections. This paper provides a walkthrough of the structure and contents of the Guidelines for Preservation Readiness of Digital Newspapers, shares the evaluative metrics for the Comparative Analysis of Distributed Digital Preservation Frameworks, and discusses the implementations of the interoperability tools.

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Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDT&C) is an international journal which focuses on preserving digital content from a wide variety of perspectives, including technological, social, economic, political, and user. Its scope is global, covering projects and practices from key international players in the field. The goal of the journal is to provide a timely forum for refereed articles, news, and field notes from around the world.