Emulation provides an alternative strategy for digital preservation and is able to secure access to born-digital artifacts. By digitally recreating computer systems, emulation ensures that digital objects can be rendered in their native environments and thus maintain their original ”look and feel.”

Born-digital works of science, art and literature are some of society’s most at-risk cultural materials, where obsolescence and loss of cultural history are an imminent risk. Today’s research as well as significant parts of cultural activity are conducted using electronic equipment, most notable computer systems and to some extent mobile electronic gadgets.

Emulation does not operate on the object directly but rather addresses the environment which was used to create the object. Emulation technology resembles a specific computer system-architecture completely in software. Every aspect of the emulated system-architecture is implemented in software. In the best case, it will not make any difference whether the object is rendered through an emulated or original environment.

Aims of the group:

  • Promote emulation as a preservation strategy
  • Use-case & user stories
  • Collection of emulation tools & technology (e.g. a registry)
  • User support (forum / wiki) per framework / tool

Emulation interest group wiki working space:

http://wiki.opf-labs.org/display/Emulation/Home (login required)


bwFLA project:


bwFLA Emulation as a Service demo server second release (University of Freiburg):

(OPF members only. Please contact us for login information).