PERSIST – the Platform to Enhance the Sustainability of the Information Society Transglobally - was launched by UNESCO in 2013. It is directed by a Steering Committee and grouped into three task forces working on issues related :

  • policy (coordinated by UNESCO) – high level policy debate & promoting global awareness
  • technology (coordinated by the ICA International Council on Archives) – review of preservation strategies, legacy software repository
  • content (coordinated by IFLA) – to develop guidelines for the selection of digital content for long-term preservation by memory institutions


You can find more information about PERSIST on the Unesco PERSIST platform following this link and Flash January 2016-n°31, page 21.

What is the ICA doing?

The Technology Taskforce

The PERSIST Technology Taskforce met in November 2015 to continue its work on developing a platform to ensure the technical preservation of digital heritage.

Members include: David Fricker (ICA President /Convenor), Dr Abdulla Elreyes, Robert Buckley, James Davis, Ryder Kouba, Maria Liouliou, Natasa Milic-Frayling, Jos van den Oever, Jonas Palm, Raivo Ruusalepp, Denise de Vries, Ian Wilson, Vincent Wintermans.

The Technology Taskforce has been considering the various technical issues including understanding the structure, nature & meaning of digital objects; how to maintain their authenticity, identity & integrity, and the provision of a platform to address these issues.

Future work of the Technology Taskforce will:

  • Provide technologies and services that can support selection, access, and dissemination of legacy digital content by the digital preservation experts
  • Disseminate knowledge about digital legacy by enabling access to legacy software and content as part of the main-stream education, exhibitions, museums, and similar
  • Drive the societal awareness of digital obsolescence and provide public services on library premises, e.g., enable individuals to access their legacy content that may be stored on old types of storage media
  • Foster research and innovation in addressing issues of digital obsolescence, including the ways of preserving and transferring knowledge about legacy systems across générations
  • Establish dialogue with practitioners, ICT industry, and standards bodies about the licensing of legacy technologies and content for the purpose of preserving digital heritage.


The Content Taskforce

The ICA has also been involved in the Content Taskforce, drafting the Guidelines for the selection of digital content for long-term preservation. The Guidelines are designed primarily for libraries, archives and museums, including professionals and administrators who deal with digital materials and plan to prepare a policy on selection of digital materials for long-term preservation.

ICA Members include: Rob Fisher and Sarah Choy.

For more information see the Expert Group on Appraisal.

How can you be involved?

You can be involved by contacting the ICA’s Expert Groups and giving your ideas and feedback:

Expert Group on Appraisal


Expert Group on Digital Records