Digital Preservation - Home

Two units at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have responsibility for maintaining the records in its holdings: Preservation, with the mandate to care for the physical holdings and perform preservation reformatting digitization of physical items, and Digital Preservation, with the mandate to support electronic records processing archivists, perform audits of the holdings, and assess the need to perform preservation actions.

The goal for digital preservation at NARA is to enable the continued, ongoing usability of these records, retaining the qualities of authenticity, accuracy, and functionality deemed to be essential and feasible. This is accomplished through risk assessment and planning, staff training, ongoing improvement of its processes and infrastructure, and internal and external collaboration.

NARA’s 2022-2026 Digital Preservation Strategy guides its internal operations. It outlines the specific strategies that NARA will use in its digital preservation efforts and specifically addresses Infrastructure, Data Integrity, Format & Media Sustainability, Information Security, and Training. It applies to born-digital agency electronic records, digitized records from agencies, and NARA digitization for access and preservation reformatting.

Electronic records collections require ongoing risk assessment and preservation planning. NARA has developed, and continues to update, its Digital Preservation Framework for digital preservation risk assessment. The Framework is available for public comment, reuse, and adaptation.

NARA is committed to collaboration with other national archives, libraries, and museums, and participates in international consortia such as the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, the Digital Preservation Consortium, and the Digital Library Federation.

PLEASE NOTE: The Digital Preservation left-menu pages differ from other Preservation pages. The links are solely devoted to digital preservation topics.