Frequently Asked Questions



Member Communication


Should my organization join the NDSA?

If your organization has an active digital preservation program and wants to work with other experts in the field, then yes, your organization should join the NDSA. Consortia, non profits, commercial entities and international organizations are all welcome to apply for membership or join as an Affiliate. At this time, individuals are not eligible to join the NDSA. Please see the membership packet for more information about our values and principles.

How can my organization check the status of our application?

Our Coordinating Committee evaluates membership applications on a monthly basis. If it has been more than a month since you completed your application, please feel free to check in:

What commitment is expected if my organization joins the NDSA?

Members are expected to engage actively in digital stewardship and share lessons learned and practical knowledge about ensuring long-term access to digital materials. Interest Groups and Working Groups are the primary mechanism through which the NDSA accomplishes its goals. Participation in Interest Group and Working Group conference calls and projects can take anywhere from two to seven hours a month. There are no fees associated with joining the NDSA.

What are the benefits of joining the NDSA?

Members have direct contact with experts in digital stewardship and an opportunity to affect national digital stewardship strategies and initiatives. Participation in NDSA Interest Group activities provides practical benefit to local programs and shared results. All NDSA members receive access to our listservs and other shared resources.

Does the NDSA provide funding?

The NDSA does not provide funding for projects or building tools and infrastructure, although some of our member organizations do. Look for relevant funding opportunities in data curation and digitization from NDSA’s host organization, CLIR+DLF.

How does NDSA relate to the DLF? To CLIR?

CLIR and the Digital Library Federation believe strongly in NDSA’s mission and set of values. NDSA is financially supported by the DLF, which also provides communications infrastructure, staff time, and participation by the DLF director on NDSA’s Coordinating Committee. CLIR is the parent organization of the DLF, but DLF itself runs on independent membership fees. If you like what the Digital Library Federation is doing to support digital stewardship at no cost to NDSA members, please join DLF and contribute!


What is the difference between an Interest Group and a Working Group?

The NDSA has established Interest Groups focusing on broad areas of digital preservation, out of which smaller Working Groups often emerge. All NDSA member organizations commit to providing participants for one or more groups. NDSA participants may form Interest Groups (IGs) and Working Groups (WGs) at will, in order to discuss mutual interests, and advance joint projects.

Which groups are right for my organization?

The answer depends on what exactly your organizational goals and needs are. It is generally best to try to match the right people in your organization with the right NDSA group. For example, developers and IT staff and administrators are a great fit for the Infrastructure Interest Group. Think about what your organization’s strengths are and work from there. In general, the more directly the group’s mission suits the individuals who participate from your organization, the more you, the NDSA, and the group benefit.

How do we join a specific Interest Group or Working Group?###

When organizations join the NDSA, they indicate which Interest Groups they would like to join, and which individuals will participate in each of those groups. Once a organization’s application is approved, those people are added to the relevant listservs and can begin collaborating. Individuals at member organizations can also join other NDSA Interest Groups and Working Groups at any point. To join a particular group, contact or the group’s chair to let us know what member organization you represent and make your request.

Can I switch to a different group?

Yes, people associated with NDSA member organizations can change Interest Groups and Working Groups at any point. Contact the group’s chair or co-chair if you have questions about making a switch.

Can member organizations participate in more than one Interest Group or Working Group?###

Definitely! We encourage participation on multiple Interest Groups and Working Groups. In most cases, it is best to have different people from a member organization participate in different groups. Ideally, the Interest Group or Working Group will be a direct and natural fit for the nature of each individual’s role within your organization.

Member Communication

How do members access NDSA listservs?

NDSA has several email lists for sharing information and coordinating activities. The lists are private to members, so only subscribers may post messages and access the archives. To subscribe to one or more of the lists below, simply sign up or send a request to your Interest Group Co-Chairs.

How do members use the NDSA wiki?

NDSA maintains public pages on the DLF wiki, to provide information about current activities and facilitate the work of the coordinating committee and Interest Groups. Access it here: NDSA wiki. Editing privileges are reserved for NDSA members, who may request a username and password from

I just joined the NDSA. How can I get involved?

We are thrilled that you’ve joined! There are many ways to get involved. Check out the New Member Orientation and Resources page for information and tips about where to start.

Who are the NDSA Interest Group and Working Group Co-Chairs?

Each group is led by one or more volunteers. You’ll find their names and contact information on the NDSA Groups page.