About Us

In the Information Age, digital information has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives, from the way we access or store our favorite music and family photographs, to how our society conducts commerce, research and education. Underlying the potential of the Information Age and its paradigm-shifting access to digital information is the assumption that key information will be there when we want it, where we want it, and for the foreseeable future.

Realizing the potential of the Information Age spawns a series of daunting challenges for the future, how will we ensure the long-term preservation and access to our digital information, growing exponentially with each passing day? How will we successfully migrate data as technology moves from one preservation medium to the next? Who should determine which digital data should be saved, and what criteria will be used to make those decisions?

Perhaps even more challenging is the issue of economic sustainability. What is the cost to preserve valuable data and who will pay for it? Broadly speaking, economic sustainable digital preservation will require new models for channeling resources to preservation activities; efficient organization that will make these efforts affordable; and recognition by key decision-makers for the need to preserve, with appropriate incentives to spur action.

To address these issues, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was created in late 2007, and in early 2010 published its Final Report, called Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information. The report provides general principles and actions to support long-term economic sustainability; context-specific recommendations tailored to specific scenarios analyzed in the report; and an agenda for priority actions and next steps, organized according to the type of decision maker best suited to carry that action forward. Following publication of the report, the Task Force SDPA proposed a Grand Challenge recommendation for the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy's submission website to ensure that the knowledge of today is available for use tomorrow , while fostering innovation for sustainable growth and creating high-quality jobs. That report was submitted to the OSTP in mid-April.

The BRTF-SDPA is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the National Archives and Records Administration.