Introduction JosÈ Borbinha

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JosÈ Borbinha

INESC - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (Portugal)

Lex Sijtsma

KB - Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Netherlands)

The DELOS Working Group is an action of the ERCIM Digital Library Initiative funded by the ESPRIT Long Term Research Programme, and one of its main targets is the periodic organisation of workshops addressing issues related with digital libraries.

The Sixth DELOS Workshop, dedicated to the subject of the "Preservation of Digital Information", was held in Tomar, Portugal, from the 17 to the 19 June 1998. The local organisation was a co-operation between INESC, which is a member of the ERCIM Consortium, and the National Library of Portugal. Both the organisations are also members of the NEDLIB consortium (, a TELEMATICS project addressing the problem of the legal deposit and preservation of digital publications at national libraries and which was also involved in the workshop.
The event counted with 15 presentations and more then 40 attendees, coming from the Europe, USA and Australia. The presentations covered a broad range of issues, which created the required environment for an alive a very interesting debate of the problem.
The workshop started with a motivating presentation coming from the USA, provided by Hans Rutimann from CLIR ( Hans presented the goals and priorities of "The Digital Library Federation", and he illustrated is talk with the very interesting video "Into the Future". This is a 30 minutes movie produced by the Commission on Preservation and Access and the American Council of Learned Societies, and it was shown last January on the national television in the USA with a great impact. "The movie sounds an alarm and raises questions" related with the problem of the preservation of digital information and the risks of the loss of memory for the organisations and the society in general, and it is really convincing in that purpose.

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