UNESCO PERSIST Mission and Vision

UNESCO PERSIST is part of the Preservation Sub-Committee of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme (MoW). It focuses on Digital Preservation to ensure long-term access to the World’s Digital Heritage by facilitating development of effective policies, sustainable technical approaches, and best digital preservation practices.

UNESCO PERSIST activities are coordinated by the UNESCO PERSIST Steering Committee and are implemented through three Working Groups (WGs): Policy, Technology & Research, and Content & Best Practices.

UNESCO PERSIST Steering Committee

The UNESCO PERSIST Steering Committee consists of

  • David Fricker (National Archives of Australia, President ICA): Chair, UNESCO PERSIST 
  • Robert Buckley (National Archives of the United Arab Emirates): Chair UNESCO PERSIST Policy Working Group  
  • Natasa Milic-Frayling (Intact Digital): Chair, UNESCO PERSIST Technology & Research Working Group 
  • Ingrid Parent (University of British Columbia; acting on behalf of IFLA): Chair, UNESCO PERSIST Content & Best Practices Working Group
  • Ryder Kouba (University of Hong Kong): Secretary to the UNESCO PERSIST Steering Committee

and UNESCO PERSIST Advisors:

  • Lai-Tee Phang, Chair, Preservation Sub-Committee of the UNESCO MoW International Advisory Committee
  • Abdulla Alraisi (El Reyes), Director-General of the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates and Chair, International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the UNESCO MoW Programme
  • Fackson Banda, Chief, UNESCO Documentary Heritage Unit (MoW), UNESCO
  • Ana Lomtadze, Documentary Heritage Unit (MoW), UNESCO
  • Kenji Tamura, Documentary Heritage Unit (MoW), UNESCO.

Policy Working Group

The aims of the Policy WG are to identify emerging and existing policies and strategies on digital preservation of documentary heritage at both Governments and Memory Institutions (defined as: libraries, archives, audio-visual archives, museums and new types of data managing institutions) and to promote the outcomes and impact of these policies and strategies. The WG has been chaired by Robert Buckley (Technical Adviser at the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates) and includes 

  • Ulla Bøgvad Kejser (Danish National Library)
  • Maureen Pennock (The British Library).

Read the Terms of Reference 2016-2017 for the UNESCO PERSIST Policy WG.

Technology & Research Working Group

The aim of the Technology and Research (T&R) WG is to facilitate a dialogue with software vendors and solution providers about technology life-cycle management to ensure digital continuity of software and content. By covering both technology and research, the WG drives support for innovation and research in areas that are critical to achieve digital continuity. The WG aims to mobilize the ICT community to consider barriers and opportunities for long-term use of legacy software in order to protect digital information, knowledge and documentary heritage from technology obsolescence. The WG has been chaired by Natasa Milic-Frayling (CEO & Founder, Intact Digital Ltd and Professor Emerita, University of Nottingham).

Content & Best Practices Working Group

The aim of the Content and Best Practices WG is to identify existing and emerging needs of digital preservation practitioners and how these can be best addressed at the local, national and international levels. The WG has been actively involved with the community on Content Selection guidelines and is expanding its scope to consider legal aspects of the content selection. The WG has been chaired by Ingrid Parent (University Librarian Emerita, University of British Columbia).

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