Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UK National Archives Digital Preservation Policy

The UK National Archives has published a document for archives on the need for a digital preservation policy. The guide explains the key characteristics of a digital preservation policy, why there is a need for a policy, how it supports digital preservation, what the criteria are and how it relates to other documentation and policies.  It contains links to digital preservation policies of other institutions, as well as links to other sites that would help someone create a digital preservation policy.
  • Active preservation is any proactive action taken in the preservation of digital records (e.g. migration of records). 
  • Passive preservation is any action that supports digital preservation but does not engage with the digital records directly (e.g. management and backing up of servers storing digital records).
  Archives may need to revert to an earlier version of a digital record(s) if a chosen migration path is unsuccessful. To do this a previous instance of a record will need to be retained.
The document also outlines criteria and measures for a successful digital preservation policy.
 Digital preservation policies: guidance for archives (PDF).

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