Paradigm project

Paradigm logo
The Paradigm project (20052007) was a practical exploration of the cultural, legal and technical issues involved in the long term preservation of digital private papers. It encompassed the entire lifecycle of an archive, from the original creation of an archival document to its dissemination to a researcher as a historical record.


Project archivists worked with creators of archival material (specifically politicians) who provided sample collections enabling the Library to practice archiving digital private papers.  The project used a mix of traditional archival procedures and standards in tandem with those emerging from a newer digital curation community.

Project activities included:

  • Re-thinking existing approaches to collection development in private archives given the move to, and evolution of, the digital environment.
  • Development of surveying, capture and transfer techniques for hybrid archives.
  • An evaluation of DSpace and Fedora as potential preservation repositories for born-digital archives.
  • Testing of metadata extraction tools and metadata standards (descriptive, structural and preservation).
  • Investigation of digital preservation strategies in the context of private digital archives.
  • Exploration of the legal implications of working with born-digital archives.
  • Development of cataloguing approaches for hybrid archives.
  • Working with a small group of historians and political scientists to begin to understand the implications of the hybrid archive from their perspective.
  • The Paradigm project produced an online Workbook, documenting the issues explored during the work.
The Paradigm website has not been updated since 2007, but continues to contain useful information.
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