Digital preservation tools and systems

Your approach to digital preservation should be modular and flexible, to ensure it is sustainable.

Digital preservation tools

A combination of tools and technology that are currently available may be the most cost-effective means of achieving this flexibility. These include:

  • file format identification from The National Archives: DROID (freeware)
  • file registry database from The National Archives: PRONOM (freeware)
  • Community Owned Digital Preservation tool registry: COPTR
  • SPRUCE project, including a Digital Preservation Business Case toolkit: SPRUCE

The Digital Preservation Coalition has an informative webpage on digital preservation tools and links to external tool registries and further resources.

Digital preservation systems

There are a growing number of commercial and open source options available on the market that address the digital preservation needs of archives. Options to consider when undertaking market research can include:

  • the features of the product – does it do everything you require?
  • whether it is open source or commercial
  • whether it is software or a service
  • whether there is easy to access documentation and an active user community, which can be particularly important for open source products
  • whether storage is included
  • what level (if any) of file encryption is offered

Digital preservation workflow guidance

As part of our digital capacity building strategy for the archives sector, we have published guidance on digital preservation workflows. This guidance aims to give practical examples of workflows for managing born digital content and actions for how to process and preserve materials. This includes listing a number of tools and software that can be used at each stage of the workflow.