Current digital preservation systems such as Archivematica and Preservica lack a common and consistent way to describe and execute preservation policies and actions at a technical level. Archivematica’s Format Policy Register (FPR) and Preservica’s Linked Data Registry (LDR) both define what tools and rules to use when doing digital preservation and whilst these two approaches aim to solve similar problems, they are not interoperable. There is no way to share technical information between the two solutions and for users to share their experience on what approaches to use in different contexts and why. This hinders implementation and execution of digital preservation in an interoperable way within the digital preservation community.

Artefactual, Arkivum, Preservica, Jisc and the Open Preservation Foundation are working on a Preservation Action Registries (PAR) that can be used to capture and share technical best practice for the preservation of digital objects in the form of a corpus of machine-readable recommendations. The registry’s data model defines what tools can be used for different digital object formats, what properties can be extracted or measured and what preservation actions can be taken. The model includes contextual and historical information on the reasons why recommendations are being given. The information is versioned and includes the tool parameters and software environments needed to execute different preservation actions so they are directly ‘executable’ by preservation systems.

PAR simplified conceptual model

The first phase, currently underway, is a proof of concept which is designed to address the technical process of how information can be exchanged.

Future phases will address other issues such as how such information can be managed.