Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Personal Digital Preservation

Overview

  • Digital preservation is a series of managed activities to ensure accurate rendering of digital content as long as necessary regardless of failure or tech change
     
  • Have 3 copies // in 2 formats // and store at least one of them 1 offsite
     
  • Test your files periodically to catch potential issues early
     

Source

Digitization Basics

  • Capture once, use many times
    if you scan at a high resolution, you can say a copy later at lower resolution to share more easily

  • Create a faithful reproduction of the original
    you can always copy the original photo and do restoration work on the copy of the photo

  • Scan from the earliest generation practical
    details get lost as copies are made of materials

  • Technical specifications

    • Start with preferred file formats (non-proprietary is best) 

    • Balance resolution needs against file size 

Source


Additional resource: digitalpreservation.gov


Resources for preserving physical items before and after digitization

Organization Basics

  • Be consistent and descriptive
    • Use descriptive but concise file and folder names
    • Avoid special characters, spaces, and periods in filenames
    • Use capitals, hyphens, or underscores to delimit words
    • Use 2-digit numbers to represent 0 through 9
    • Use back-to-front formatting for dates
    • Use version numbers (or a version control system, if you generate extensive quantities/versions of files)
  • Add context (use whichever approach you will actually put in practice consistently in your life)
    • Tags
    • Metadata
    • README files

Source

Copies & Storage

3-2-1 Rule

  • Have at least 3 copies
  • On at least 2 different media types 
  • With at least one copy stored offsite (and offline)

Source

Testing

Testing: Regularly try to open your files

General Tips

Source


Printable worksheet

Spreadsheet