Levels of Digital Preservation
The Levels of Digital Preservation (also referred to as the ‘Levels’) is a resource to help digital preservation practitioners build or assess their digital preservation program. Originally created in 2013, Version 2.0 was released in 2019 along with additional supporting documentation and resources.
The Levels of Preservation matrix, documentation, and supporting resources are available from the NDSA’s OSF repository and linked from this page.
Version 2.0 of the Levels was created by the Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group. For more information, please contact a member of the Levels Steering Group.
On World Digital Preservation Day 2020, the Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group became a Digital Preservation Award winner receiving 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.
Levels of Digital Preservation Version 2.0 Matrix (Levels of Digital Preservation Working Group. "2019 Levels of Digital Preservation Matrix", October 2019, https://osf.io/2mkwx/.)
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. The Matrix should be used in association with the working definitions document which gives further explanation on terms used within the grid.
- Levels of Digital Preservation Matrix
- Working Definitions of Terms
- Levels of Digital Preservation FAQ
The Implementation Guidelines provide background information on the Levels of Digital Preservation project from 2013 and 2018, the thinking of the group on changes that were made, working definitions of terms, and recommendations for implementing the Levels.
The Assessment Tool is available to help you use the Levels of Digital Preservation. This spreadsheet template can be downloaded and used to record and visualize your assessment results. A guidance document is also available and describes how the tool should be used and provides two case studies of the Assessment Tool in use.
A Digital Curation Decision Guide is available that helps form the basis of a series of decision points around collections and the implementation of a preservation strategy. The Guide has both a visual and narrative version to help explore key factors in complex infrastructure and collections management decision making.
Training Slide Deck
A slide deck and accompanying instructions are provided for use if you would like to talk about the Levels of Digital Preservation to an audience. Slides could be used for a full day workshop, a webinar, or just a quick introduction. Instructions are included on which slides may be most useful for each type of presentation, however you are encouraged to use whichever slides work for your purpose or audience.
Translations of the Levels of Digital Preservation
Various elements of the Levels have been translated into different languages by our community partners. We encourage and welcome new translations from the community. Do get in touch with us if you are interested in translating the Levels.
- ARABIC: Translations have been done for the Matrix and Implementation guide. Both can be found on the NDSA OSF site.
- DUTCH: A Dutch translation has been made for Version 2 of the Matrix.
- FINNISH: Translations have been done for the Matrix and Assessment Tool. Both can be found here or linked from the NDSA OSF site.
- FRENCH: Translations have been done for the Matrix, Implementation Guidelines and Assessment Tool Documentation. Translations are available from the Bibliotheque nationale de France or on the OSF site. Translations for Version 1 are also available.
- GERMAN: A German translation has been made of the Matrix.
- PORTUGUESE: A Portuguese translation has been made of the Matrix.
- SPANISH: Spanish translations have been made for Version 2 of the Matrix. Translations are available in NDSA’s OSF repository (Version 2.0) as well as in APREDIG (Ibero-American association for digital preservation) (Version 2.0). Translations for Version 1 are also available.
- TURKISH: A Turkish translation has been made of the Matrix and Implementation Guide.
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 good practive evolves.
If you have feedback on the Levels of Preservation or related documents, please submit it to us using this form.
- Version 1.0: 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.