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Posted on Wednesday January 18, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

Preservation of Digital Heritage in the data space

Colleagues from the J-ARK project, European Commission and Europeana Foundation explore the future of digital preservation within the context of the common European data spaces.


The project J-Ark - European Jewish Community Archive started in September 2021, before the common European data space for cultural heritage was announced. However, the topics the project addresses have a renewed relevance in the context of the data space, especially given that the preservation of data and metadata will have a fundamental role in supporting the sharing and reliability of data in these new ecosystems. The Preservation of Digital Heritage in the data space event aimed to open discussion around this point, using the J-Ark project as a natural context for doing so, aiming to connect Europeana’s aggregation infrastructure (a key element in the European data space for cultural heritage) with the eArchiving building block and eArchiving-compliant systems and processes.

At this event, project partners highlighted some of the bigger questions about the future of digital preservation and how they can be addressed by the common European data spaces, in particular for cultural heritage. How long is ‘long-term’ preservation: 10, 50 or maybe 300 years? How do we make it truly inclusive by preserving not only mainstream collections, usually safeguarded by institutions well-equipped with preservation means, but also archives of small organisations, communities, and even personal archives? How do we save on costs by looking at the ecosystem as a whole rather than at specific use cases? The event set the scene with an update about the accomplishments of the J-Ark project so far, and then expanded the perspective on data spaces and preservation by first hearing the European Commission's vision on the subject and then looking at projects innovating with preservation in various ways. The event concluded with a round-table discussing these big questions as well as promises and challenges of preservation in the age of data spaces.

The event was intended for a broad audience of digital heritage practitioners and data space specialists and took place on 22 February 2023. 



Setting the Scene (9-10am)
To open the event we'll set the scene by hearing updates about the project from its own team, learning about the vision of the European Commission on eArchiving and common European data space for cultural heritage, and about the role of the Europeana Initiative.

Moderated by Pavel Kats (Jewish Heritage Network), with presentations from

  • J-Ark project: vision, components use-cases and sustainability, Alexander Raginsky (Pangeanic)
  • The eArchiving initiative, Arpad Welker (European Commission)
  • The common European data space for cultural heritage, Fulgencio San Martin (European Commission)
  • Common European data space for cultural heritage: update and vision, the role of the Europeana Initiative, preservation of CH data, Valentine Charles (Europeana Foundation)

Innovation (10.05-11.25am)

We'll continue with four sessions on various innovation initiatives in the long-term preservation and archiving domains. 

Moderated by Luis Faris, KEEP Systems, with presentations followed by Q&A from

  • eArchiving - what it is and how does it work, Anja Paulic (The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia)
  • Information hand in hand with sustainable long-term digital preservation, Karin Bredenberg (Sydarkivera)
  • Standardising the exchange of Digital Preservation know-how using Preservation Action Registries, Jack O'Sullivan (Preservica)
  • Can The Internet Back up itself? SOLID has the answer, Alex Tourski (Post-Platforms) and Dr. Esther de Loof (SolidLabs)

The future (11.30-12.15pm)

The event will end with a round table discussion about the future of digital preservation and big questions our community should address.

Moderated by Pavel Kats (Jewish Heritage Network)

With Luis Fariа (KEEP Systems), Kerstin Arnold (Archive Foundation Europe), Manuel Herranz (Pangeanic)