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BL's Collection Profiling template (forthcoming)
BL's Collection Profiling template (forthcoming)
[http://aida.jiscinvolve.org/wp/ Assessing Institutional Digital Assets (AIDA)]

Revision as of 14:45, 31 July 2013

Understanding your Collection

Preservation of the collection is a fundamental purpose behind any digital preservation business case, regardless of the type of business case being drafted. Convincing business cases must therefore be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the collection and the context in which it is being preserved. Not all information generated in the process outlined below will make it into the final business case, which should only include the most essential information to convince funders of the need for the proposal.


This is the process that a practitioner should follow to build this section of the business case. This should be a numbered list!

  1. Origins & value of the collection
    1. Purpose: demonstrating the provenance of the collection, fit to the organsiational content development strategy, value of the collection to the organisation
  2. Collection profiling
    1. Purpose: identifying what types of content are in the collection, possible sub-collections, preservation intent associated with the collection, retention periods for the collection
  3. Organisational context
    1. Purpose: illustrating how the proposal fits into the wider organisational policy framework, mandate, strategy, departmental structures...
  4. Legal context
    1. Purpose: makes a clear case for preserving the collection - we must, rather than we may.
  5. Wider Landscape
    1. Purpose: Is this collection unique? How does it compare to other collecting institutions? How does the proposed approach compare to what other collecting institutions are doing for similar types of content?
  6. User expectations for the collection
    1. Purpose: Provides the context in which the collection will be used and justifies the investment to be made in preserving the collection - preservation & access two sides of the same coin.


This should describe the contents or structure of the business case, resulting from following the Process above Describe the change you want to see in the organisation

  • where are we now
  • where we are going

The Collection

  • Contents of collection (what is it?)
  • Origins & importance of collection to organisation (incl legal requirements) (why do we have it?)
  • Preservation Intent or Vision for preserving the collection (what will we do with it?)
  • Fundamental problem facing the collection that this business case will solve (how will this proposal help us achieve our vision/mandate?)
  • How business case supports organisational mandate
  • How proposal fits with wider organisational policy framework/strategies


  • Content owners
  • Roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders


Scenario 1: HE institution business case for a new repository system

  • Where are we now: size and complexity of collection
  • Where we are going: predictions for growth of collection over next 5, 10, 20, 50 years
  • Contents of the collection - high level overview of the different content types (web, AV, e-theses...)
  • Preservation intent & vision - breakdown of different preservation intents for diff content types...
  • Problem and solution statement - collection currently stored in an aging repositry system that is no longer supported with minimal preservation functionality -> collection will be migrated to a new repository system with integrated preservation functionality
  • Organisational mandate - supporing research by ensuring content is preserved and made accessible
  • Organisational policy framework - Collection development policy, other Library policies, Institutional strategy.

Scenario 2: Local archive business case for a digital preservation officer

  • Where are we now:
  • Where are we going:
  • Contents of the collection:
  • Preservation intent and vision:
  • Problem & solution statement:
  • Organisational mandate:
  • Organisational policy framework:

Scenario 3: Large CH institution moving to third pary service provider

  • Where are we now:
  • Where are we going:
  • Contents of the collection:
  • Preservation intent and vision:
  • Problem & solution statement:
  • Organisational mandate:
  • Organisational policy framework:


Notes relevant to tailoring this section to the appropriate audience and communicating the the business case to that audience


These are external resources of relevance to this section. Links can be incorporated into the text above if that is more useful

BL's Collection Profiling template (forthcoming)

Assessing Institutional Digital Assets (AIDA)