Building collections for all time: the issue of significance

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7 Citations (Scopus)


One of the major roles adopted by libraries is the long-term preservation of selected material within their collections. Traditionally. this role comprised identifying individual physical objects or collections based upon the library's own view of its role and the significanceof items in its collections. With the rapid growth of digital materials there has been a blurring of the divide between museum, archive and library collections. with a growing concern amongst all cultural heritage sectors about the identification and ongoing preservation of digital objects. Due to the size and complexity of the issues and, in particular, the volume of digital material and costs involved in its long-term preservation, there has been a resurgence in the debate on identifying significance in materials and thus their priority in preservation programs. This debate has sparked widespread discussion in the museum, archives and record-keeping professions which can inform the more recent concerns now being voiced within librarianship. This paper looks at the concept of significance within all of the 'memory institutions' and considers how the theory is shaped, how it has been put into practice and the applicability of such a notion to digital preservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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