Levels of Digital Preservation

The Levels of Digital Preservation (LoP) is a resource for digital preservation practitioners when building or evaluating their digital preservation program. Originally created in 2013, Version 2.0 was released in 2018 along with additional supporting documentation and resources.

The LoP Matrix, documentation, and supporting resources are provided on this page as well as in the NDSA’s OSF repository.

For questions, please contact a member of the LOP Working Group.

Levels of Digital Preservation, Version 2.0

Levels of Digital Preservation Version 2.0 Matrix

Levels of Digital Preservation V2.0 Matrix

The Levels of Digital Preservation Matrix, shown above in color, is available in both color and black and white on the OSF site.

Implementation Guidelines

The Implementation Guidelines provides background information on the Levels of Digital Preservation project from 2013 and 2018, the thinking of the group on changes that were made, and recommendations for implementing the LOP. This also includes a list of Working Definitions - a list of terms used throughout the Levels of Digital Preservation grid and project to help explain terms.

Assessment Tool

The Assessment Tool provides a template for using the Levels of Digital Preservation as an assessment tool. The guiding document also includes two case studies of the Assessment Tool’s use.

The Levels of Preservation Working Group produced additional supporting documents. The results of this work assisted with the revison of the Matrix and creation of the Assessment Template.

2013 Levels of Digital Preservation

The original Levels of Digital Preservation (Proceedings of the Archiving (IS&T) Conference, April 2013, Washington, DC) are still available for use and reference as needed.

A French translation is also available from the Bibliotheque nationale de France or on the OSF site.

Levels of Preservation Working Group

This work was done by the Levels of Preservation Working Group. It is expected that the Levels of Digital Preservation will continue to be updated over time as additional feedback is received, experience is gained implementing its recommendations and as empirical research provides detailed information about data loss. For this reason, each iteration of the Levels will be versioned.

Find more information on the Levels of Preservation Working Group on their webpage.

Digital Preservation Award

On World Digital Preservation Day (November 5, 2020), the Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group became a Digital Preservation Award winner when the group was awarded the International Council on Archives Award for Collaboration and Cooperation! This award is not possible without the collaboration of hundreds of people over the course of the project! Thank you to everyone who participated and for those just joining in the work.