As scholars have become increasingly reliant upon the electronic versions of scholarly journals, long term preservation of these resources has become of major importance and a growing need for the library community. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of The Netherlands, was one of the very first cultural heritage institutions to become aware of the emerging importance of digital resources. With the establishment of the e-Depot the KB has created in 2002 the first solution to provide permanent access to scholarly information. This goes beyond the national depository role of the KB as it also preserves publications from international, academic publishers that do not have a clear country of origin. The next step for the KB is to position the international e-Depot as a European service, which guarantees permanent access to international, academic publications on a European level. There is a danger that e-journals become “ephemeral” unless we take active steps to preserve the bits and bytes that increasingly represent our collective knowledge. Besides the threat of technical obsolescence there is the changing role of libraries. In the past libraries have assumed preservation responsibility for materials they collect, while publishers have supplied the materials libraries need. These well understood divisions of labour do not work in a digital environment and especially so when dealing with e-journals. So we need new models and organizations to ensure safe custody of these digital objects for future generations. The KB has invested in order to take its place within the research infrastructure at European level and the international e-Depot serves as a trustworthy digital archive for scholarly information for the European research community.
Marcel Ras, "The International e-Depot to Guarantee Permanent Access to Scholarly Publications" in Proc. IS&T Archiving 2013, 2013, pp 58 - 60, https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2013.10.1.art00013