Digital preservation is an urgent problem confronting modern society being increasingly permeated with digital processing. Ensuring the longevity of our cultural heritage has, hence, become a new dimension.
This thesis dealt with these new challenges to be tackled, creating archives to guard digital information for the long term. A special view was taken at retaining documents that are the concern of a nation's cultural heritage.
Chapter 2 structurised the task by splitting it up into several modules, being aware that those are interwoven and influence each other strongly. Identified as one of the main challenges was an exact definition of the archive's goals, thereby determining the source for the material and the scope thereon. Differing methods for acquiring the documents were found. Which to chose depends strongly on the purpose of the specific project. As a prerequisite, facilities for the storage of the data have to be provided. Digital preservation of the collection items calls for a special focus. Making the repository usable, access has to be provided, where different services are conceivable. Furthermore, economical and legislative issues demand to be discussed. Lastly, metadata is an indispensable means to organise the archive.
Subsequently in Chapter 3, related work in this field of research was introduced. Various initiatives have been inaugurated creating repositories for digital publications, most of which embark on a national scale. Others examine the problem on a rather theoretical level, developing strategies for the long-term preservation of the archive's content in particular.
Following this, we presented our own experiences constructing an archive in Chapter 3. Embarking on preserving digital works related to Austria, the Austrian On-Line Archive (AOLA) was formed. Furthermore, a pending problem when collecting data in an automatic manner is approached, namely the automatic retrieval of interactive documents in Chapter 5.
The thesis is concluded with a summary of the lessons we learnt in Chapter 6, following the structure in Chapter 2 relating to the different challenges that were identified.