Initial list of Significant Significant Properties available

Initial list of Significant Significant Properties available

Significant Significant Properties

At iPres 2018 in Boston, we presented our work on ‘Significant Significant Properties’ (SSP): those properties of information types that most digital preservation practitioners find significant in most contexts.

Or, as we explained it in our ‘Minute Madness’ presentation:

  • When you prepare a meal, you need to be aware of ingredients most of us find essential for most kitchen pantries (and ingredients for special recipes and guests). Everybody knows essential ingredients like salt, pepper, paprika, etc.
  • When you preserve information, you need to be aware of properties most of us find significant in most preservation plans (and properties for special contexts and stakeholders). But what are they?

Salt & pepper

In order to answer this question, we decided to climb on the shoulders of significant properties giants, and collected and combined significant properties research and best practices. This resulted in an initial draft list of SSP: a basic list of properties that are almost certainly significant to your stakeholders and the preservation of their information. The salt & pepper of digital preservation kitchens, as it were.

We have not yet found a suitable platform for sharing and maintaining the list of SSP as a community owned resource. But many of the iPres participants asked us, if they could get a copy of our initial list. This is why we share our initial list of SSP as an attachment to this blog. Please remember that this is an initial draft version of the list, and not THE ultimate community-owned collaboratively editable resource it could eventually become.

The work of the Open Preservation Foundation’s Archives Interest Group (OPF AIG) might also be of interest to you, as we’re e.g. investigating the significant properties of spreadsheets in that group. These significant properties will eventually be included in the list of SSP.


Please send us your feedback on (the concept and content of) SSP, more significant properties resources, and/or suggestions for suitable publication platforms for community-owned resources. One suggested improvement we already received is to add a column ‘can be extracted by’ (with a list of tools or e.g. COPTR links per extractable property). We are also discussing the possibility to combine SSP with the excellent Preservation Action Registries (PAR) initiative of Artefactual, Arkivum, Preservica and Jisc.

The list of SSP is available under a CC0 license. It would however be nice to share your additions and improvements with the community.



Leave a Reply

Join the conversation