Digital Sustainability

Digital information is difficult to preserve over longer periods of time. Carriers like hard disks have a short life span, and even if one manages to keep the bits and bytes, the risk that current hard- and software is unable to process the old data is very real. Archives, museums and libraries are acutely aware of these problems, yet they cannot find solutions on their own. The UNESCO PERSIST Project stimulates the debate between these institutions, government and the ICT-industry in order to promote digital sustainability. In its first phase PERSIST was coordinated by the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO.

News & backgrounds

The PERSIST-event at UNESCO's General Conference. (Photo: Phil Event)

On 11 November, a side event organised by the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO informed participants of the 38th UNESCO General Conference on the results and prospects of the PERSIST-project. 

The PERSIST Content Task Force participated with the workshop ‘Demand driven selection for long term preservation of born digital cultural heritage’, at this year's Digital Heritage Conference held in Granada, Spain.

University of Edinburgh (Photo: CC/ | Michael Sean Gallagher)

Recently Edina and the ISSN International jointly organised a Keepers Extra conference and workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland (7-8 September 2015) under the title: ‘Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving’. A short report.

On the yearly IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in August, the traditional UNESCO session was devoted to the work of the PERSIST project. More specifically to the Guidelines for the Selection of Digital Content for Long-Term Digital Preservation.

At the end of July, UNESCO's project for digital sustainability, PERSIST, was presented at the annual conference of the Open Source Community KDE, that took place in A Coruña, Spain. KDE is an international team co-operating on development and distribution of Free, Open Source Software (FOSS) for desktop and portable computing.


The annual conference of the International federation of Library Associations and Institutions will take place in Cape Town, South Africa. Every year this conference is host to a UNESCO session, which this time will be devoted to developing Guidelines for the Selection of Digital Heritage.

Partner organisations

UNESCO Memory of the World
Nationaal Archief
Koninklijke Bibliotheek
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
International Council on Archives
DEN - Kenniscentrum Digitaal Erfgoed