Welcome to the InterPARES Web site!

The InterPARES Project was launched in 1999 to address the concerns raised by the fact that organizations and individuals had come to rely in a fundamental manner on the creation, exchange and processing of digital information without recognizing the grave threat posed to records by the rapid obsolescence of hardware and software, the fragility of digital storage media, and the ease with which digital entities can be manipulated. Digital technology had profoundly challenged the traditional methods by which records were identified, recognized as accurate, reliable and authentic, appraised and preserved. The InterPARES Project chose to rely on an intellectual framework based on archival science and diplomatics, but committed to an inter-disciplinary process involving a wide spectrum of academic and professional fields, from geography and musicology to computer engineering and law. Its researchers included individuals, organizations and institutions from five continents, working in the public and private sectors. Its research assistants came from a variety of graduate programs, from linguistics, film study and history, to public administration, photography and computer science.

From 1999 to 2012, The InterPARES Project developed through three phases.

InterPARES 1 was carried out between 1999 and 2001. It focused on the preservation of authentic administrative and legal records created and maintained in databases and document management systems. Its primary products were conceptual requirements for authenticity, methods of selection and preservation, and an intellectual framework for the development of policies and strategies. The findings of InterPARES 1 can be found on this site in electronic form. They are also published as a book titled The Long-term Preservation of Authentic Electronic Records: The Findings of The InterPARES Project. Luciana Duranti ed. (San Miniato: Archilab, 2005) and distributed by the Society of American Archivists. The book is also freely available in electronic form here.

InterPARES 2, which began in 2002 and was concluded in 2007, aimed to develop theory and methods capable of ensuring the reliability, accuracy, and authenticity of electronic records from their inception and throughout their preservation. The research focused on records created in dynamic, experiential and interactive systems in the course of artistic, scientific and governmental activities. The findings and products of the second phase can be found on this site in electronic form. They are also published as a book titled International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) 2: Experiential, Interactive and Dynamic Records. Luciana Duranti and Randy Preston, eds. (Padova, Italy: Associazione Nazionale Archivistica Italiana, 2008) and distributed by the Society of American Archivists. The book is also freely available in electronic form here.

InterPARES 3, which began in September 2007 and was concluded in April 2012, had as its goal the implementation of the findings of the first two phases of the Project in archival organizations or units endowed with limited resources.

This site contains information about, and provides access to, documents produced by all three phases of the InterPARES Project. They can be searched through the pages of each InterPARES Project phase, the reports of each team, the theme to which the documents relate or a case study or a general study name.

 


Dr. Luciana Duranti
InterPARES Project Director


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