Digital Preservation Policy Template

The sections, questions, and suggestions below—as well as the example policies, the policy template document, and the guidelines & resources also collected here—are intended to help institutions begin drafting a digital preservation policy.

Much of the work in creating a digital preservation policy involves building awareness of the issues as much as building a policy. We encourage you to use this page and our other step-by-step resources to initiate discussions and collaboratiev probelm solving at your institution. In that vein, the activities checklist prompts institutions to evaluate their current digital preservation practices as they relate to these policies, and may serve as a good start for this process.

Section 1 - Rationale:

This is the “why” of having a digital preservation program and should include portions of your mission, how the program relates to it, and the importance of digital preservation to the ongoing success of digital collections and archives. Many institutions include here a list of adopted principles that lay out the core ideals behind their preservation activities.

  • Why do you preserve digital content?
  • What are some of the core principles guiding your digital preservation activities?
  • For whom are you preserving this material, both now and in the future? To what purpose?
  • How does digital preservation work fit into the mission of the larger organization in which you work?

Section 2 - Scope:

This section should describe “what” the department/program does, and should focus on collection development strategies, audience, and collaboration.

  • What types of materials do you preserve?
  • What types of content do you preserve?
  • What priorities drive the selection of materials and content to be preserved?

Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities:

This section should describe who the department/program works with and relies upon in their digital preservation practices.

  • What are the roles and responsibilities of individual positions involved in the carrying out of digital preservation activities?
  • List other departments, programs, and/or positions with which your program works in the fulfillment of digital preservation activities, as well as the nature of the relationship with that respective entity.