Digital Preservation Framework for Risk Assessment and Preservation Planning


NARA developed its Digital Preservation Framework to document and share recommended preservation actions based on its electronic record holdings and current capabilities. It is a comprehensive resource that includes:

  • A Matrix for file format risk analysis and prioritization for action;
  • Preservation Plans for 16 categories of electronic records (or “record types”), such as email, still images, and software, which identify “Significant Properties,” the properties that should, if possible, be retained in any format migration; and
  • Preservation Action Plans for over 700 file formats, including proposed preservation actions and tools.

NARA won the 2020 National Digital Stewardship Alliance Innovation Award for Digital Preservation in the Organization category, citing the team and the international impact of the Digital Preservation Framework.

The Framework can be applied across the lifecycle: its documented format sustainability metrics provide critical context for records creator and management decisions, support records selection and appraisal, and guide the selection of formats available for public access.



The Digital Preservation Framework is publicly available on the NARA Github account for reuse and adaptation, and discussion.