Foundational Principles


The NDSA is an international membership organization that supplies advocacy, expertise, and support for the preservation of digital heritage.


The NDSA promotes a vision in which all digital material fundamentally important to our cultures receives appropriate, effective, and sustainable stewardship care from the international preservation community to protect and enhance its persistent value, availability, and (re)use.


The NDSA membership invests collaborative stewardship action towards three primary objectives:

  1. Convening and sustaining an engaged community to advance digital stewardship theory and practice.
  2. Identifying, communicating, and advocating for the common needs, concerns, standards, and best practices of that community.
  3. Providing outreach, resources, training, and professional development opportunities to bolster the effectiveness, productivity, and continuity of that community.

Strategies and Activities

The NDSA’s specific strategic priorities and initiatives are articulated in the NDSA Stewardship Agenda. In general, these divide into four high-level categories:

  • Communications and publications, to promote community and raise public awareness
  • Reports and guidance, to advocate standards, encourage sustainable infrastructure, and broaden access to and use of preserved digital materials
  • Knowledge exchange, to facilitate cooperation and promote innovation
  • Sustainable Governance, to maintain a clear, transparent, and accountable governance structure for the NDSA


The NDSA membership is bound as a community by the following values:

  1. Stewardship is the existential value of the NDSA. NDSA membership expresses a foundational commitment to the proactive management of digital content for current and long-term use.
  2. Collaboration, exchange, and inclusiveness are the operational values of the NDSA. The vision of the NDSA is expansive and progress towards it depends upon harnessing the complementary and coordinated actions of all appropriate organizational and individual participants, including voices and perspectives that have been historically marginalized.
  3. Ethical behavior is the imperative value of the NDSA. NDSA members act towards each other and stakeholder communities with integrity, respect, transparency, and accountability.

Code of Conduct

As the Digital Library Federation (DLF) acts as the host organization for NDSA, NDSA groups follow DLF’s Code of Conduct.

Current Organization

The work of the NDSA is organized by Interest Groups and lead by an elected Coordinating Committee. The Digital Library Federation acts as the host organization of NDSA and provides leadership and program support. NDSA questions? Send an email to DLF questions?


The National Digital Stewardship Alliance was launched in July 2010 by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress. Founding NDSA members participated in an organizing workshop that determined how the NDSA would be structured and established how it would function as a collaborative, volunteer organization.

In creating NDIIPP, Congress charged the Library of Congress with building the capacity for public and private organizations across the United States to save digital content of current and future value to the nation. The NDSA’s initial members were drawn from NDIIPP’s partnership network.

The organization’s 2016 move to the Digital Library Federation at CLIR was an opportunity to re-affirm NDSA’s values, partner with a new host that shares them, and begin expanding activities and connections in new spheres.