Achieving digital preservation and particularly long-term availability of research data and cultural heritage data is still a major research topic. Our main task is to develop and operate a Digital Preservation System (long-term archive) to provide permanent access to the results of scholarly research and to the outcome of digitization efforts from a wide variety of cultural heritage institutions. This involves the development of preservation policies and data ingest workflows.

The idea is to distinguish the domain of active research and the long-term preservation domain. In the active research domain, curation is the responsibility of the researcher or heritage institution, and in the long-term preservation domain, responsibility lies with the long-term archive. An important part of the work is focused on data preparation issues, particularly addition of descriptive, technical and administrative Metadata. A thorough look inside the transferred data stream to secure file integrity and authenticity is part of the work. File format validation is a prerequisite to decide on migration of obsolete file formats. The Digital Preservation System in use (EWIG) is designed to be a single, modular core pipeline of existing free and open-source software tools linked up by in-house developed data conduits.

Together with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) and other partners we are researching technical and organisational strategies to secure future access to stored digital assets. There is strong cooperation with the Research Groups "Service Center Digitization Berlin" (digiS) and "KOBV Library Network - Operating". The necessary large scale bit stream preservation facilities are provided in-house by “Core Facility IT and Data Services”.