Digital Preservation - getting started

The following pointers have been suggested by colleagues from the Sectionfor Archives and Technology.

The links and pointers are not intended to be comprehensive - but seek to highlight a few useful starting pointers to information and key resources relating to digital preservation. 


General online resources and tutorials

  • The University of Michigan Digital Preservation Management site includes a very comprehensive online tutorial covering the key challenges and strategies relating to preserving digital material

  • Cornell have prodcued an online Digital Preservation Management tutorial which includes an interesting digital technology and preservation timeline

  • In terms of the language used try the Digital Curation Centre glossary 
  • Digital Preservation Europe created a series of short and very entertaining cartoons to highlight aspects of digital preservation - check out their YouTube channel

  • Digital Preservation Coalition website provides up to date information on digital preservation training, events, new technology and guidance, including the Digital Preservation Handbook.

  • The National Archives website includes guidance and a useful digital preservation FAQ aswell as details and information about DROID tool and the PRONOM file format registry

  • The Library of Congress website includes a section targeted at private individuals on how to ensure the long term survival of personal digital materials, such as family photographs and videos.

  • The Hull History Centre includes a links page to a number of UK institutions who are active in this area as well as details of its own work with born-digital archives and the AIMS Project White Paper which sought to highlight good practice from across a number of institutions

  • Digital Archvies Connect - UK wiki designed to encourage sharing of information about work, tools being used etc 

  • Digital Curation Exchange - US based forum for sharing experiences


Tools and software

  • DROID - Digital Record Object IDentification, this file profiling tool prodcued by The National Archives, with a guide and video to using this tool 
  • FTK Imager - tool allows you to create disk images of hard drives and USB devices (when used with a write blocker) and allows you to preview content 
  • OS Forensics - Free forensic software to conduct analysis on digital files, the website includes tutorials, videos and FAQs

Further reading

  • McMeekin, Sharon "With a Little Help from OAIS: Starting down the Digital Curation Path" Journal of the Society of Archivists 32, October no. 2 (2011): 241-253.
  • Cothey, Viv. "Digital Curation at Gloucestershire Archives: From Ingest to Production by Way of Trusted Storage" Journal of the Society of Archivists 31, no. 2 (2010): 207-228.
  • Hilton, Chris, Thompson, Dave and Walters, Natalie "Trust Me, I'm an Archivist"Ariadne Issue 65 (2010)
  • Articles appearing in the International Journal of Digital Curation are freely available online 


Are there any online resources or tools that you find particularly useful? If so, please let us know. 

Simon Wilson
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