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Digital Preservation Policy


Concordia University Library collects, preserves, and provides access to a vast and varied collection of materials that support the University’s academic programs, inspire intellectual discovery, and encourage knowledge creation. The Concordia University Library Digital Preservation Policy outlines high-level principles supporting sustainable digital preservation and formalizes the Library’s commitment to ensure continued access and long-term preservation of digital assets in its care.

Digital preservation is the series of management policies and activities necessary to ensure the long-term usability, authenticity, discoverability, and access of digital content. It is necessary to deal with challenges to enduring accessibility of digital content such as file corruption, media failure, file format obsolescence, and other effects of technological change. Digital preservation aims to ensure that future users will be able to discover, retrieve, trust, render, and use digital resources over time.


Concordia University Library’s responsibility for the preservation of digital materials stems from its organizational commitment to preserve ongoing access to materials necessary for scholarship in service of the University’s mission, as well as its specific obligations to preserve:

  • Concordia University’s electronic theses and dissertations, which are collected by deposit and made available through the Spectrum Research Repository
  • Open access faculty scholarship deposited in Spectrum in accordance with the Concordia University Senate Resolution on Open Access:
  • Materials comprising fonds and collections gifted to Concordia University Library Special Collections from private donors, including responsibilities spelled out in donor agreements as well as in the Special Collections – Collection Development Policy (T-12):


  1. The preservation of digital materials is an ongoing process. Ensuring that digital information remains accessible and usable over time requires perpetual planning and action.
  2. Not all materials require or deserve the same level of preservation treatment. Decisions about prioritization and appropriate treatment levels are determined on an ongoing basis by the Digital Preservation Committee based on a number of factors, including anticipated use and value of the materials, their uniqueness, and their relation to specific stakeholder communities and commitments. These decisions, as well as decisions about materials considered to be in or out of scope, are documented in the Digital Preservation Framework and in the Spectrum and Special Collections Format Policy Registries.
  3. The Library’s digital preservation activities conform with evolving standards and best practices from the digital preservation and digital curation communities.
  4. The Library is committed to achieving long-term preservation and access of materials in a manner that is mindful of financial costs and environmental impact, to ensure the sustainability of its digital preservation activities.
  5. The Library will reduce the burden of digital preservation system migrations over time by ensuring that Archival Information Packages (AIPs) are system-agnostic and portable, and otherwise avoiding vendor lock-in related to digital preservation processes.
  6. Whenever possible, the Library commits to use open-source digital preservation solutions, and to be an active participant in the open-source projects and communities on which its digital preservation activities rely.

Roles and Responsibilities

University Librarian shall appoint a Digital Preservation Committee to recommend and oversee the implementation of a Digital Preservation Framework.

Policy Responsibility and Review

The overall responsibility for the implementation and revision of this policy and the Digital Preservation Framework shall rest with the University Librarian. These documents will be reviewed and updated at least once every three years.

Questions, Comments, or Complaints

Questions, comments, or complaints about this policy or its application should be addressed to the Office of the University Librarian: by email: or by mail to:

Office of the University Librarian
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, LB 331
Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8

Digital Preservation Policy (PDF Version)

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