n.the professional discipline of protecting materials by minimizing chemical and physical deterioration and damage to minimize the loss of information and to extend the life of cultural propertythe act of keeping from harm, injury, decay, or destruction, especially through noninvasive treatmentConway 2000In the early years of modern archival agencies—prior to World War II—preservation simply meant collecting. The sheer act of pulling a collection of manuscripts from a barn, a basement, or a parking garage and placing it intact in a dry building with locks on the door fulfilled the fundamental preservation mandate of the institution.Lawthe obligation to protect records and other materials potentially relevant to litigation and subject to discoveryZubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC 2003, 12The scope of a party’s preservation obligation can be described as follows: Once a party reasonably anticipates litigation, it must suspend its routine document retention/destruction policy and put in place a “litigation hold” to ensure the preservation of relevant documents.v., preserveto keep for some period of time; to set aside for future usePreservation and Conservationto take action to prevent deterioration or lossLawto protect from spoliationSkupsky and Montaña 1994, 74The duty to preserve records during the pendency of litigation overrides any business procedures that may be in place for destruction of records, including otherwise appropriate destruction under a records retention program. Once the duty to preserve is in effect, a duty also arises to notify appropriate organization personnel of the need to preserve relevant records.
Preservation2 is sometimes distinguished from conservation1, the latter describing treatments to repair damage. However, preservation activities are often considered a subdiscipline within the profession of conservation2. Preservation3 is used in many public records laws to distinguish records from nonrecords; records are those materials that warrant preservation, that are set aside (usually by being filed). Materials that are not set aside for subsequent use do not fall within the scope of that legal definition. In this context, preservation is roughly synonymous with filing, with no connotation of permanent preservation.