Output – Inspect: Significant Properties Report – overview

Title: Significant Properties Report

Number of pages or page numbers: 10 pages


Date Released: 10 April 2007

URI for Output: http://www.significantproperties.org.uk/documents/wp22_significant_properties.pdf

Summary of contents:

Report provides a brief background and overview of the key concepts in digital preservation (including migration and authenticity) and a review of existing work on ‘significant properties’.

‘Use the term ‘significant properties’ in preference to either ‘significant
characteristics’ or ‘essence’, although we regard the terms as essentially interchangeable.’

‘For the purposes of this project we define ‘significant properties’ as:
the characteristics of digital objects that must be preserved over time in
order to ensure the continued accessibility, usability, and meaning of the

‘The significant properties of digital objects fall into 5 categories:
• content, eg. text, image, slides, etc.
• context, eg. who, when, why.
• [rendering], eg. font and size, colour, layout, etc.
• structure, eg. embedded files, pagination, headings, etc.
• behaviour, eg. hypertext links, updating calculations, active links, etc.’

Category ‘appearance’ in this report changed to ‘rendering’ in subsequent work (http://www.significantproperties.org.uk/documents/wp33-propertiesreport-v1.pdf p15). This page in the  report also provides fuller definitions of these 5 terms.

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