CARL Issues Final Report of Study on Digital Preservation Capacity in Canadian Institutions

Friday, November 29, 2019. – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is pleased to announce the release of the Final Report of the Survey on Digital Preservation Capacity and Needs at Canadian Memory Institutions, 2017-18. This study was undertaken by CARL’s Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG) under the leadership of Grant Hurley. The report is authored by Grant Hurley and Kathleen Shearer.

The purpose of the survey was to provide an updated and comprehensive picture of digital preservation activities in Canada and to identify existing gaps and outstanding needs at Canadian institutions. Phase 1 of the study targeted CARL members in October-December 2017 (with an update period in December 2018-January 2019) and Phase 2 targeted a broader sample of Canadian memory institutions (in August-September 2018). CARL wishes to thank the 52 participating institutions for providing responses to the survey.

Jonathan Bengtson, CARL President and former Chair of the CARL Digital Preservation Working Group, remarks: “This report presents a detailed snapshot of preservation capacity across a variety of functional areas within our memory institutions, from organizational commitment and policies and procedures, to storage, access and staffing. This data will be invaluable in planning our future activities and investments in digital preservation.”

An early reporting on the phase 1 and phase 2 survey results took place at the @Risk North 2: Digital Collections forum in November 2018, while this report represents analysis of the total final dataset. The DPWG will follow up on areas of need identified in this study in developing its future initiatives.

The report features an executive summary that presents key findings and context for the study. The final dataset of responses and accompanying codebook is available in the Scholars Portal Dataverse:

The Digital Preservation Working Group is planning a free webinar in January 2020 where Grant Hurley will present key findings from the study.

> Full text of report – English (PDF)

> Full text of report – French (PDF)


CARL members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries. Enhancing research and higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL develops the capacity to support this mission, promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

For more information, please contact:

Lise Brin, Program Officer