The University of Virginia Library is an enthusiastic participant through the Software Preservation Network in Yale’s Emulation As A Service Infrastructure (EaaSI) project. We are motivated strongly by the urgent need to preserve software in ways that make our preservation of digital scholarly and cultural materials more accessible and meaningful.
As preservation professionals (whether or not it is a primary assignment for each of us), we are fond of a commonly expressed perspective: preservation without access is pointless. The preservation of relevant software adds many layers of complexity to the notion of digital preservation while promising critical additional value in the result.
If we lose access to the software component-mix that an object requires to be something other than an unintelligible sequence of bits, the object becomes useless.