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About Planets

Objectives | Publicity Material | Project Partners | Project Governance


The Planets Project will deliver a sustainable framework to enable long-term preservation of digital content, increasing Europe's ability to ensure access in perpetuity to its digital information.

Planets will deliver:

The project will enable organisations to improve decision-making about long term preservation, ensure long-term access to their valued digital content and control the costs of preservation actions through increased automation and scaleable infrastructure. Intensive Dissemination and Take-up activities will ensure the widest possible adoption of results in the user community and enable commercial tool and service providers to compete in a new market place for differentiated preservation services and tools.

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Planets Publicity Material

Planets Brochure  [PDF, 697KB]
An overview of the Planets Project. If you would like to order a printed version, please contact
Alternatively, you can download the printer-friendly version of the brochure: Planets Brochure Printer-Friendly  [PDF, 694KB]

Planets Tools and Services  [PDF, 54KB]
A more in depth look at Planets tools and services.

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Planets Partners

The Planets consortium brings together the unique experience required to research, develop, deliver and productise practical digital preservation solutions. Coordinated by the British Library, the partners are:


The British Library

The British Library is one of the greatest research libraries in the world and manages an extraordinary challenge in terms of preservation and provision of access to materials. In 2003-2004, we provided over 5,320,000 items and received more than 395,000 visitors in our reading rooms; we created over 490,000 digital images, and delivered over 4,700,000 pages of digital material over the web; our collections span over 11,200,000 monographs, 10,115,000 reports in microform, and 836,000 serial titles. As we pursue our mission to help people advance knowledge to enrich lives, we underpin the UK’s contribution to world-class research, scholarship and business innovation.

The National Library of the Netherlands

The National Library of the Netherlands, was the first national library in the world to have an operational digital deposit system based on the OAIS model. The digital archiving system is called the e-Depot and contains the DIAS-system (Digital Information Archiving System) as its technical core. DIAS was built by IBM in close co-operation with KB and has been operational since March 2003. The system was built according to the recommendations that were made by the partners of the EC-funded project NEDLIB. KB has an agreement with most of the key international publishers in the field of SMT (Science, Medicine and Technology) including Elsevier, Springer and BioMed Central to have their online journals archived for long term preservation and access in the e-Depot. Since 2003, IBM and KB continued working together to develop new preservation functionality for the e-Depot, which resulted in the Preservation Manager (a file format registry), and a working prototype of the Universal Virtual Computer (UVC). In 2005 KB has started a joint project with the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands to build an emulator for digital preservation.

Austrian National Library

The Austrian National Library is the main scientific library of the Republic of Austria with a history rich in tradition dating to the 14th century. It offers access to and professionally competent advice on its own holdings (around 7.5 million objects) and links to international electronic resources and digital library services. The Library is required by media law to receive a copy of every publication appearing in Austria, including university theses and (offline) electronic publications. ONB currently participates in a national working group for legal deposit regulation for online publications as well.

The Library is committed to preserve a variety of digital material including deposited electronic (online and offline) publications in various formats, electronic theses, e-prints, offline media on various carriers, digital surrogates emerging from large-scale in-house digitisation projects and material resulting from web harvesting. The Library is a national focal point for digital preservation in Austria and recently organized the UNESCO conference "Long-Term Preservation in the Digital Age" in March 2005. ONB is also co-organizer of a "Chinese-European Workshop on Digital Preservation" (Beijing, July 2004) and the International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects and the European Conference on Research and Advanced Development for Digital Libraries, both in September 2005.

The Royal Library of Denmark

The Royal Library of Denmark is a National Library with the obligation to preserve Denmark’s digital cultural heritage for future use. It is also a university library preparing to undertake the role of an institutional repository. International cooperation, e.g. IIPC (International Internet preservation coalition), is one of the ways the library tries to be at the cutting edge of digital preservation research and development. Also, staff from KB-DK tries to be represented at conferences and workshops dealing with all aspects of digital preservation.

State and University Library, Denmark

The State & University Library, Denmark, has four roles, it is the university library of Aarhus University, it is a national library with main responsibility for the national newspaper collection, it hosts the national media archive (sound recordings, radio & TV) and finally it is the national loan centre for public libraries and small special libraries. As a result of a new legal deposit law effective from July 2005 the library has started two initiatives, it has started to digitise radio and television material broadcasted in Denmark in real time and together with the Royal Library (KB-DK) it has started to archive the Danish Internet content.

As a result of these two new initiatives, the library expects to add 100 TB of data per year. The library is also engaged in digitising its audio collection; it currently holds close to 200.000 sound tracks. Finally, SB runs an institutional repository for the University and is conducting research into life cycle management for research and teaching material. Initiatives have been taken in the area of bit- and functional digital preservation. The web-archiving system focuses on ensuring bit preservation through hardware redundancy, ensuring trust, and supporting a migration-based digital preservation strategy. Together with the Danish Royal Library, it has established a shared IT development group consisting of 10 computer scientists working in the area of web-archiving and digital preservation. The group also has established expertise in user-centred design and user involvement and is presently in charge of a national project aiming at identifying where in the researches working process the library fits in - either as embedded resources or as a physical place.

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The National Archives of the Netherlands

The Dutch National Archives has been involved in digital preservation since the beginning of the 1990s. It has a legal duty to provide access to and preservation of archival records through time, both paper and digital. It has longstanding experience managing and preserving paper records. It provides access to government records and other historical sources to a broad audience, also by using modern channels such as the world wide web. The Archive has been involved in development of a preservation testbed since 2000, the start of a joint venture with the Ministry of the Interior. This work has continued through into DELOS and a project on emulation in cooperation with the Dutch National Library.

The National Archives of England, Wales, and the United Kingdom

The UK National Archives is responsible for looking after the records of central government and the courts of law, and making them available to everyone. The collection is one of the largest in the world and spans an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day.

The Archives advises government departments and the wider public sector on best practice in records management as well as selecting government records of enduring historical value which will be preserved forever. One of the Archives’ major achievements in the past few years has been the development of electronic records management, which will replace paper-based systems. It is at the forefront of this advance and will continue to develop it and advise others on its use.

The Archives has also pioneered the digitisation of records on paper and other traditional media so that they now can be seen online. It is a leading institution in the field of digital preservation with a digital archive capacity of 100 TB for storage of born-digital public records. It has also established the innovative PRONOM service, a technical registry to support long-term preservation. In 2004, the Archives was awarded the first Pilgrim Trust Award for Digital Preservation, in recognition of its work in developing its digital archive.

Swiss Federal Archives

The Swiss Federal Archives (BAR) is the memory of the Swiss Federation. In accordance with the Swiss federal law on archiving, the BARs mission is to preserve, make accessible and evaluate valuable federal records. It documents the origin and development of rights and freedoms and ensures that governmental activities are transparent. In addition, its archives provide a foundation for historiography, permit insight into the present from the past, and contribute to shaping the future.

The BAR has a long record of activity in the field of electronic records preservation. In particular, the first phase of its ARELDA project (2000-2004) laid the groundwork for successful digital preservation of relational databases by establishing the basic concepts and infrastructure. Currently, the second phase of ARELDA (2005-2008) is set to implement a reliable digital preservation solution embedded in the Archives’ workflow and processes. This phase will include pilot projects implementing the archiving of relational databases and research on preserving complex records management systems.

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University of Cologne

University of Cologne
UzK is Germany's largest university with 58.000 students. The University has recently established a research focus in Media Studies, which includes a degree program and research institute in Computer Science for the Humanities. The main applied research activities include a focus on various aspects of digital library systems. Software developed and maintained by the Department supports some of Germany's largest (cultural heritage) digital libraries. It has just completed a major evaluation project of the German national digitization projects, supported by the National Research Council since 1997, leading to detailed recommendations for the next round of national funding. Research into non-relational / native XML / multi-media databases has resulted in the development of a vast heterogeneous database backbone ("Prometheus") funded by the German federal ministry of research for a pilot project testing the possibilities of a virtually unified server uniting the image collections of all German art history departments.

University of Freiburg

University of Freiburg hosts the research group for communication technologies, which is involved in Planets. The group addresses numerous questions with respect to long term archiving. It is stimulated both from the activities in the computer science department and the responsibilities derived from the reliable services of a computer centre. The research group focuses on the concept of hardware emulation to preserve environments for a wide range of different digital objects. Very dynamic and interactive objects like spreadsheets, multimedia, elearning, audio, video streams and games are extremely challenging regarding long time preservation. It is not enough just to keep the physical file intact, but to provide environments consisting of (virtual) hardware and software to access them.

The group has also significantly contributed to political decisions in the German library scene as Gerhard Schneider is a long term member of the library commission of the "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)". He is chairman of several of its sub-commissions and member of the administrative board of the "Deutsches Forschungsnetz (DFN)". He also serves as CIO and vice president of the University of Freiburg.

HATII at the University of Glasgow

Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow is a world-leading Institute researching the application of advanced technologies to the cultural and scientific heritage and in the area of digital curation and preservation. It provides academic undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in arts and media informatics and digital preservation for archivists, records managers, and digital librarians. Research concentrates in the areas of technologies, methods, and theoretical developments that enable (a) access (b) content analysis and appraisal, (c) evaluation and impact methodologies, and (d) preservation.

Since 2001 HATII has been home to the FP5-funded Electronic Resource Preservation and Network (ERPANET), designed to help public and private sector institutions across Europe to improve their knowledge about digital curation and preservation and to enhance their practices. It is a core partner in the UK’s Digital Curation Centre (DCC) which is researching, developing, supporting and raising awareness in the area of digital curation. Recent externally funded research has been investigating how users discover and access resources, how ingest of digital objects into repositories can be streamlined, and metadata extraction can be automated.

Vienna University of Technology

Vienna University of Technology
The Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems addresses the broad spectrum of tools and methods which are relevant in the life cycle of software and information systems, beginning from abstract models for problem analysis to the implementation of software products. It has expertise among its staff of 63 (one third of the faculty being women) in Data Engineering, Information & Knowledge Engineering, Process Engineering, Software Engineering and Web Engineering. It has long-standing experience in digital preservation research, specifically with respect to the evaluation and comparison of preservation strategies.

Current activities include a cooperative project with the Austrian National Library for Web Data preservation and a national project on ingest and verification of PDF files for the Chief Information Office at the Prime Minister's Department. Other work includes cultural heritage projects in cooperation with UNESCO and several museums, as well as digital preservation projects within the DELOS Network of Excellence.

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Technology Companies

Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) is Austria’s leading research and technology establishment and a key player on the European research landscape where the exchange of knowledge with universities and companies is central to the successful development of industry. AIT conducts research to underpin the competitiveness of Austria in an international context. A total of around 1.200 employees located at 14 sites across Austria, with the main facilities in Seibersdorf, Lower Austria, and in Vienna, act as technology providers and innovation partners to society, industry and commerce. The institutionalised technology transfer services provided by AIT are critical to the successful transfer of know-how and do-how, and they also take account of the interests of SMEs. AIT realises future-shaping solutions through its role as an interface between research-based and commercial companies. A further indication of AIT’s international competitiveness can be seen in the Group’s intensive involvement in the research and technology programmes of the European Commission, a context in which the Austrian Institute of Technology cooperates with other European research institutes and companies to establish new partnerships. This is an important means of exchanging application-oriented scientific findings with other stakeholders. The AIT Department of Safety and Security, responsible for work in the Planets project, is also involved in numerous EU-funded projects (COOPERS, TELplus, EuropeanaConnect), including as the coordinator of the S@NY (Sensors Anywhere), SECOQC (Development of a Global Network for Secure Communication based on Quantum Cryptography) and SENSE (Smart Embedded Network of Sensing Entities) projects.

IBM Netherlands

IBM Netherlands
IBM’s effort in Planets is concentrated around the Universal Virtual Computer (UVC). IBM had been actively developing the UVC concept for the last 5 years. The UVC concept has delivered numerous proof of concepts to preserve static data formats. IBM is starting to extend the application of the UVC concept to preserve more complex objects by exploiting its abstract communication facility (between the UVC program and a future new application). IBM believe this new way of using the UVC greatly extends its usage as a preservation tool for complex object dependent upon associated application logic.

IBM has a long working history with European libraries and archives. The most renowned is the Digital Information Archiving System (DIAS) developed by IBM as the core of the KB's e-Depot. Currently DIAS version two is being prepared to be deployed at Die Deutsche Bibliothek (DDB) and the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitäts Bibliothek Göttingen (SUB).

IBM has 3000 researchers in eight labs around the world. Developing and supporting industry standards has always been one of the main objectives of IBM. A few recent examples of IBM's contribution towards setting the standards are Linux, WebSphere, XML and Eclipse. The focus for IBM Nederland is to continue to be a critical part of IBM's success by balancing projects that have an immediate impact with those that are long-term investments. IBM's research network can provide extensive inside information during the project as well a possible target group in the dissemination of the Planets project.

Microsoft Research Limited

Microsoft Research Limited
Microsoft Research involvement in Planets is focussed on identifying strategies for using Office Open XML standards for archiving and preservation of digital content. The Microsoft Office Open XML (Office Open XML) formats represent a significant advance in representing information contained in textual documents, spreadsheets, and multimedia presentations in an open format, based on the XML standard. Microsoft believes that the use of the Microsoft Office Open XML formats can maximize long-term usage of documents and provide the value to the organisations and services concerned with archiving and preservation.

Microsoft Research (MSR) was established in 1991 and has since developed into a unique entity among corporate research labs, balancing an open academic model with an effective process for transferring its research to product development teams. Microsoft researchers work across more than 55 disciplines, including areas that are directly related to the authoring, management, metadata creation, access security, and analysis of digital documents. Although most of the researchers pursue long-term goals that extend far beyond the current product cycles, they also work closely with product groups to transfer knowledge and help turn their discoveries into functional offerings. Thus, through Microsoft Research participation, the Planets project will be able to consult with Microsoft researchers on important research and technology issues and gain contact with key product groups who can contribute to defining the global strategy for preservation.

Tessella plc

Tessella plc specialises in the application of innovative software solutions to scientific, technical and engineering problems. Tessella’s activities cover a range of industries, working for customers in the life sciences, oil and gas, chemicals, transport and environmental engineering. Tessella has over 20 years of expertise in the area of reliable and authentic long-term preservation of electronic records, both for government and scientific organisations. In recent years Tessella has played a key role in a number of initiatives at the cutting-edge of the digital preservation challenge, including the Digital Preservation Testbed initiative of the Dutch National Archives, the Digital Archive of the UK National Archives and most recently the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Electronic Records Archives (ERA) programme. In the life sciences sector, Tessella has applied its expertise to assist blue chip organisations to retain business-critical information, such as the experimental data supporting the development and trials of new drugs.


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Project Governance

Project Team

Executive Steering Committee

Scientific Board

Advisory Board

Herbert Van de Sompel

Herbert Van de Sompel graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science at Ghent University, and in 2000, obtained a Ph.D. there. For many years, he was Head of Library Automation at Ghent University. After having left Ghent in 2000, he has been Visiting Professor in Computer Science at Cornell University, and Director of e-Strategy and Programmes at the British Library. Currently, he is the team leader of the Digital Library Research and Prototyping Team at the Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Team does research regarding various aspects of scholarly communication in the digital age, including information infrastructure, interoperability, digital preservation and indicators for the assessment of the quality of units of scholarly communication. Herbert has played a major role in creating the Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, the OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services, the SFX linking server, and the info URI.

Herbert Van de Sompel

Reagan Moore

Reagan Moore is Director of Data and Knowledge Systems at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He coordinates research efforts in development of data grids, digital libraries, and preservation environments.  An ongoing research interest is use of data grid technology to automate execution of management policies and validate trustworthiness of repositories. Moore collaborates on 15 research projects that include the National Archives and Records Administration research prototype persistent archive, the National Science Foundation National Science Digital Library persistent archive, the the California Digital Library Digital Preservation Repository, and the Worldwide Universities Network data grid.

Moore has been at SDSC since its inception in 1986,initially being responsible for operating system development. Prior to that he worked as a computational plasma physicist at General Atomics on equilibrium and stability of toroidal fusion devices. He has a Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of California, San Diego, (1978) and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (1967).

Reagan Moore

Stephen Abrams

Stephen Abrams is the digital library program manager at the Harvard University Library, where he provides technical leadership for strategic planning, design, and coordination of the Library's digital projects, systems, and assets. He was the architect of the JHOVE format identification, validation, and characterization tool; the ISO project leader and document editor for the PDF/A standard (ISO 19005-1); and is directing efforts towards establishing a Global Digital Format Registry (GDFR).  Mr. Abrams holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Boston University and a graduate degree in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.

Stephen Abrams

Yannis Ioannidis


  • Ph.D.: Computer Science, Univ. of California, Berkeley, July 1986.
  • M.Sc.: Applied Mathematics (Computer Science), Harvard University, June 1983.
  • Diploma: Electrical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Hellas, July 1982.


  • Department of Informatics, Univ. of Athens, Hellas
    Associate Professor (5/1997–present)
  • Computer Sciences Department, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Associate Professor (8/1993-8/1997)
    Assistant Professor (8/1986-8/1993)


  • Over 50 publications in journals and conferences on Database Systems (JACM, ACM TODS, IEEE TKDE, VLDB Journal, Information Systems, ACM Sigmod, VLDB, ACM PODS, etc).
  • Presidential Young Investigator (PYI) from the USA President, 1991.


  • Taught 7 different courses in the areas of Databases and Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Obtained 5 Teaching Awards, including the "Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award", from the Univ. Of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • Supervised 6 Ph.D. and 5 MS graduates
Yannis Ioannidis