n.the management and protection of digital information to ensure authenticity, integrity, reliability, and long-term accessibilityHedstrom 1998, 190–191I define digital preservation as the planning, resource allocation, and application of preservation methods and technologies necessary to ensure that digital information of continuing value remains accessible and usable. I intentionally use the term “continuing” rather than “permanent” value to avoid both the absolutism and the idealism that the term “permanent” implies (O’Toole). My concept of digital preservation encompasses material that begins its life in digital form as well as material that is converted from traditional to digital formats.Rieger 2000, 135Digital preservation means retaining digital image collections in a useable and interpretable form for the long term. While “long term” suggests an indefinite future, David Bearman interprets it more usefully as “retention for a period of continuing value.”Cloonan and Sanett 2002, 74It is impossible to avoid using the term “digital preservation,” however, because that is the term most frequently used in the preservation literature. . . . We recognize that it is not always the most precise term for archivists because it refers to the preservation of reformatted items, born-digital electronic materials, and born-again digital materials.RLG 2002, 3For the purposes of this report, “digital preservation” is defined as the managed activities necessary for ensuring both the long-term maintenance of a bytestream and continued accessibility of its contents.ALCTS 2007Digital preservation combines policies, strategies and actions that ensure access to digital content over time.Gladney 2009, 403Long-term digital preservation (LDP), the complex of measures required for and/or undertaken to mitigate digital object unreliability caused by ravages of time, including human misfeasance, fading human memory, and technological obsolescence, is best thought of as an extension of near-term content management (CM) services.Gilliland 2014a, 243Nevertheless, an analysis of the participants, goals, and activities of major funded projects in digital preservation indicates that while a broad range of materials is being addressed (including government records, scientific data, sound, still and moving images, and other creative materials), the digital preservation and traditional preservation/conservation communities are largely separately constituted (with digital preservationists coming predominantly from computer and information science backgrounds and traditional preservationists having library science, archival science, conservation science, and arts curatorial backgrounds).Kowalczyk 2018, 218Digital preservation: the process of ensuring that information is accessible and usable over time.NDSA 2022Digital preservation ¶ The series of managed activities, policies, strategies and actions to ensure the accurate rendering of digital content for as long as necessary, regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change.USLegal 2022Digital preservation refers to long-term, error-free storage of digital information, with means for retrieval and interpretation, for the entire time span the information is required for.
Digital preservation represents the utilization of management activities, strategies, best practices and standards, and policies and procedures to guarantee ongoing access to digitized and born-digital information, despite the challenges of technological change, media deterioration, hardware/software obsolescence, human error, and intentional harm. Digital preservation efforts seek to provide accurate and authentic rendering of content, while ensuring its future functionality and usability over time.