Guidance notes

Digital preservation guidance notes provide advice on specific topics related to the preservation and management of electronic records. They are written for anyone involved in the creation of electronic records which may need to be preserved over the long term, and those responsible for preservation.

Selecting storage media

Advice for creators and managers of electronic records when selecting physical storage media for long-term preservation.

Guidance on selecting storage media (PDF, 0.09Mb)

Care, handling and storage of removable media

Electronic storage media are susceptible to damage through mishandling or inappropriate storage conditions. This guidance note provides advice on the care, handling and storage of removable storage media.

Guidance on care, handling and storage of removable media (PDF, 0.11Mb)

Graphic file formats

Advice for creators and managers of electronic records when selecting file formats for use with images.

Guidance on graphic file formats (PDF, 0.16Mb)

Image compression

Advice for creators and managers of electronic records when selecting file formats for image compression.

Guidance on image compression (PDF, 0.11Mb)

Digitised Image Specification

Advice on formal image specifications for digitisation projects to ensure long term preservation of digitised records.

Digitisation at The National Archives (PDF, 0.45Mb)

Technical papers

Redaction of electronic material

Guidelines for editing exempt information from paper and electronic documents prior to release:

Redaction toolkit (PDF, 0.15Mb)

DROID automatic format identification documentation (including XML schemas)

This technical report describes an identification method developed by The National Archives, which uses automated analysis of the binary structure of a digital object, and comparison with predefined internal and external 'signatures' for specific formats. The report can be accessed here: DROID automatic format identification documentation

Extend the capability of DROID through developing and contributing new signatures:

How to research and develop signatures for file format identification (PDF, 0.42Mb)

PRONOM Technical Registry Unique Identifiers

The PRONOM Unique Identifier (PUID) is an extensible scheme for providing persistent, unique and unambiguous identifiers for file formats.

 See PRONOM Technical Registry Unique Identifiers documentation

Policy guidance

The National Archives has developed guidance on the need for a digital preservation policy. It discusses the main success criteria for a policy and its relation to other policy areas.

Digital preservation policies: guidance for archives (PDF, 0.25Mb)

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