Digital preservation at TIB

TIB fulfils its national mandate to preserve its globally unique collections of technical and scientific specialist and research information for future generations.

In this connection, digital preservation is an element of TIB's comprehensive preservation strategy. This strategy also include analogue preservation, involving the main preservation actions of deacidification, restoration and constant book care. Retro-digitalisation is also part of the preservation strategy.

The proportion of digital information in libraries' collections is growing rapidly: specialist information such as graphics from digitisation projects, electronic theses, audiovisual (AV) media, 3D objects, digital grey literature and electronic journals are available in all kinds of formats, stored on a variety of data carriers. These items must be collected, made accessible and preserved. When stored well, books made of acid-free paper can be preserved for several hundred years; the digital preservation of digital objects, on the other hand, presents a particular challenge.

What makes digital preservation special

Both file formats and data carriers are subject to technological development, and become outdated. As a result, digital objects are often no longer accessible in their original condition after a few years, or can only be accessed with considerable effort.

TIB's remit

TIB is the archiving library for its collection areas, and is a dedicated partner of the national digital preservation strategy. The objective is to ensure the complete, intermedia preservation of its collections.

In addition, TIB collects and archives

  • German research reports from the realms of science and technology as comprehensively as possible, in its capacity as repository library for German research reports from these areas.
  • All university publications produced at Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Digitally preserved objects

TIB digitally preserves objects from various sources, and helps the respective data producers to submit these to the library:

  • Electronic publications by external producers, such as university publications, German research reports, grey literature, ebooks
  • Digitised items

In the future, audiovisual objects and their metadata will be digitally preserved by the Competence Centre for Non-Textual Materials (KNM), including the former holdings of the Institute of Scientific Films (IWF - Wissen und Medien GmbH) and 3D objects.

The digital preservation archive

Together with its Goportis partners, TIB operates a productive digital preservation system: "Goportis – digital preservation archive". The system deploys the Rosetta software program by the company Ex Libris. Together with its partners ZB MED and ZBW, TIB has established cooperative agreements concerning the use and operation of the digital preservation system (DP system). TIB hosts, operates and administers the DP system, and ensures its Goportis partners have access to it. TIB acts as a service provider to its partners.

TIB has been awarded the Data Seal of Approval (DSA), a certificate attesting the trustworthiness of its digital preservation archive.

Standards and reference model

The reference model for the implementation of the digital preservation system used by Goportis is the "Open Archival Information System" (urn:nbn:de:0008-2013082706) (OAIS), a reference model that describes the ingestion of digital objects in the digital preservation archive via archival storage and preservation planning up to their access.

Other standards are also used:

TIB's cooperation partners

  • Goportis – Leibniz Library Network for Research Information
  • Nestor – competence network for digital preservation
  • Open Preservation Foundation (OPF)
  • National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ)
  • Rosetta User Group (RUG) – a cooperation of Rosetta users who joined forces for information sharing and collaboration on future Rosetta developments
  • German Rosetta User Group (DRAG) – an association of German-speaking Rosetta users

Data Seal of Approval

The long-term digital archive of TIB received the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) and is certified as a trusted digital repository. Here you can find the full assessment.


Thomas Bähr

Phone: +49 511 762-17281