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 2019 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.

This work was carried out by the Levels of Preservation Working Group. Find more information or questions, please contact a member of the LOP Working Group.

Award Winners

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.

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. The Matrix should be used in association with the working definitions document which gives further explanation on terms used within the grid.

Implementation Guidelines

The Implementation Guidelines provide background information on the Levels of Digital Preservation project from 2013 and 2018, the thinkings of the group on changes that were made, working definitions of terms, and recommendations for implementing the LOP.

Assessment Tool

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.

Curatorial Guidance

A Digital Curation Decision Guide has been released that helps forms the basis of a series of decision points around collections and the implementation of a preservation strategy. The Guide has both a visual and prose version to explore from different angles the basic factors in complex infrastructure and collections management decisions.

Translations of the Levels of Digital Preservation

Various documents from the Version 2.0 work have been translated into different languages by our partners.

  • 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.
  • PORTUGUESE: A Portuguese translation has been made of the Matrix.
  • TURKISH: A Turkish translation has been made of the Matrix and Implementation Guide.
  • 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.


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 versiond.

If you have feedback on the Levels Matrix or any of the related documents, please submit it to us using this form.

Versioning of the Levels of Digital Preservation

  • 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.