1. Where do I start in understanding digital preservation?

Digital preservation can be viewed as a set of concurrent processes. If you are just starting out, however, it helps to adopt a sequence of broad actions to get into this loop.
  • Evaluate the digital records you have, or are likely to receive to identify formats and potential volumes.
  • Identify records held on removable storage media (such as memory sticks or floppy disks) with a view to transferring them to a more secure storage environment, such as a server.
  • Ensure there are at least two copies of a digital record. This will allow you to work on a copy and allow you to revert to an earlier version if required.
  • Develop a system of governance by creating a digital preservation strategy. The strategy should identify the triggers and actions required for active preservation and should be mandated by a digital preservation policy.

Where can I learn more?

There are a number of accessible training courses and literature which will enable your organisation to understand how and why digital preservation is important.

2. Why is digital preservation featured so prominently in Archives for the 21st Century?

We believe that digital preservation is a vital service development issue for almost all archives, even ones that can only progress in this area through partnerships. There is an increasing demand for storage of, and access to, digital information in a discoverable format and an expectation that the vastly increased public access achieved in recent years will continue to expand.

Funding agencies worried by expenditure on digitisation and other digital projects in the past are tightening their sustainability requirements. Services wishing to have access to these investment sources will need to demonstrate that they can continue to provide access in the future.

Where can I learn more?

Archives for the 21st Century

Archives for the 21st Century in Action

Mind the Gap: Assessing Digital Preservation Needs in the UK

Digital Preservation Self-Assessment

Digital Preservation Coalition