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Preservation refers to a series of activities (managerial, financial, technical) undertaken to prevent deterioration of a document or artifact and to ensure that it will continue to be usable. It may also refer to activities taken to ensure the integrity and long-term availability of information contained in rare or fragile documents or artifacts through the creation of surrogates for access purposes.

U.S. government documents[]

Preservation means that

official records of the Federal Government, including Government information products made available through the FDLP, which have been determined to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant being held and maintained in trust for future generations of Americans, are retained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).[1]


Traditional preservation strategies, such as providing appropriate storage and environmental conditions, are still necessary in the digital environment, but they are not enough to ensure that digital information is preserved. In the digital context, preservation requires secure and reliable storage of files in formats for which they were received, as well as creating backup copies for offsite storage.


See also[]