Appraisals & AuditsAnalysis of digital preservation needs, risks and effectiveness.
Format SelectionSelecting a format that is likely to survive into the future. For example, a popular format that is widely used. Open formats supported by many products are preferable to proprietary formats that bind you forever to a particular commercial entity.
Media SelectionSelecting data storage devices and media. Some media is specifically designed to last for decades or longer. However, it is also possible to sustain data on inexpensive commodity media if you regularly backup, validate and migrate.
DigitizationDigitization is the process of converting analogue information to digital. Digital formats have preservation advantages as they can be copied many times as backups.
Format ConversionThe process of converting digital information from a legacy format to a modern format that is likely to be supported into the future.
MigrationMoving files to new environments such as an upgraded file system or new type of data storage device.
BackupThe basic process of taking many copies of information to reduce the probability of loss. These may be geographically distributed on different types of storage device and media.checksum.
Continuous MaintenanceAn approach to digital preservation whereby information and media is uploaded to a large number of geographically distributed servers and actively maintained on an ongoing basis with techniques such as daily backups and regular migration to the newest platforms. This provides highly usable data and has other advantages such as immediate handling of corrupted information.
Disaster PlanningPlanning for future disasters that may physically destroy media or disrupt power and access to facilities. For example, backing up to media that can survive a strong electromagnetic pulse.
EncapsulationThe practice of placing metadata and a digital object together in a single file. It is considered a bad practice to have a separate database that is required to fully understand each digital object. Think from the perspective of someone who is trying to understand your file 70,000 years from now.
EmulationDigital files aren't static entities but are designed for use with specific software and/or hardware. Consider a video game that relies on numerous external APIs, runtime environments and hardware units. A common approach to extending the useful life of such digital entities is to build a portable emulator with open source code.
Source CodePreserving the source code for all software, including emulators, that is required to use your digital objects. Again, proprietary closed-source formats aren't a good idea.
Digital Preservation PlatformThere has been some effort to develop highly scalable platforms for digital preservation such that each organization faced with digital preservation needs doesn't have to reinvent an approach. The more important digital assets that are moved to a common platform, the more likely it is that the future will make the effort to recover the platform.
Personal ArchivingIndividuals commonly seek to preserve their digital assets using techniques such as multiple backups and cloud storage services in multiple geographic locations.
|Overview: Digital Preservation|
The practice of storing digital objects in resilient ways that are likely to survive into the future.