Digital Preservation Policy


Digital preservation is an essential program in the Mansfield Library that supports the Library’s ability to provide long-term and sustainable access to its digital content. A successful digital preservation program maintains the original digital object and allows future users to access the informational content of the digital materials.


  • This policy covers those digital resources that have been selected by the Mansfield Library for preservation.
  • The digital preservation policy also applies to preservation metadata and persistent identifiers associated with such digital content.

Content covered by the digital preservation policy are:

  • Published digital content
  • Unpublished digital content (including personal and organizational archives)
  • Research outputs (as collected by the University of Montana repositories)
  • Administrative records of the University of Montana (according to the rules laid out in the Montana University System General Record Retention Schedule)
  • Digitized materials

Content not within scope of the digital preservation policy are:

  • Any digital material which is not intended for permanent retention, which is instead governed by general IT policy
  • Digital records in active use, which are instead governed by departmental practices and relevant statutory regulations
  • Commercial content which is not managed by the Mansfield Library, and over which it has no rights other than access

Selection and Acquisition:

The selection and acquisition of digital objects is carried out in reference to the criteria and priorities outlined within the Mansfield Library’s Collection Development Policy. Digital content that is selected for the Archives and Special Collections is intended for permanent retention, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Access and Use

Digital content will be managed to ensure future discoverability and access. The Library will maintain information regarding rights and permissions governing access. The Library will comply with copyright, intellectual property rights and/or other legal rights related to copying, storage, modification, and use of digital resources. The Library will also maintain persistent and reliable access to digital content that has been made available to researchers.



The purpose of the digital preservation policy is to provide a framework for the Library’s ongoing commitment and approach to preserving its unique digital content.


The Mansfield Library, the premier research library in Montana, facilitates the intellectual and creative pursuits of all members of the University of Montana community and supports their information, education and cultural development as global citizens. Digital preservation is an essential component of ensuring that digital cultural heritage is available for future University of Montana community members.


Through preserving its unique digital content, the Library supports the University of Montana’s mission to transform lives by providing a high-quality and accessible education and by generating world-class research and creative scholarship in an exceptional place.


The Library takes a proactive and risk-managed approach to digital preservation. It recognizes that preserving access to digital content requires ongoing planning, active management, and an organizational commitment from the point of creation or accession. The following principles address what is required to support digital preservation in the Library.


  • Sustain funding of the digital preservation program
  • Document, monitor, and refresh technical workflows and processes over time
  • Collaborate and partner with other cultural heritage and academic institutions to share knowledge and resources

Collecting and Managing

  • Create and manage digital content in accordance with internationally recognized digital preservation standards
  • Where the Library is able to influence the creation of digital content, it acquires and creates digital material in sustainable formats
  • Ensure that digital content is managed in a manner which safeguards them against inadvertent alteration and non-authorized access

Technical Infrastructure

  • Invest in and supporting the technical infrastructure required to carry out the preservation of its digital content
  • The Library recognizes that digital content require management beyond the life-span of the technical infrastructure and system currently used to manage them. Systems used for managing digital content are chosen and/or developed using appropriate and tested exit strategies for digital files and metadata
  • Wherever possible, the Library favors the adoption of open, community-led standards and tools for digital preservation rather than closed or proprietary solutions

Preservation Activities

  • Actively monitor content for corruption and unauthorized changes
  • Undertake preservation activities such as migration, emulation, and normalization to ensure that digital content can be accessed in current computing environments as needed
  • Any preservation activities performed on digital content are tested, evidence-based, and recorded


  • Create metadata for managing and describing its content according to international best practices

Roles and Responsibilities

The Digital Archivist has primary responsibility for maintaining awareness of preservation needs and standards for the library’s unique digital material.

The Library Dean ensures that there is dedicated support, training, and advice for faculty and staff responsible for preserving digital content.

Implementation of the policy:

The Digital Archivist is responsible for implementing and communicating the digital preservation policy, and for overseeing the day-to-day implementation of the digital preservation policy.

Review of the policy:

The Digital Archivist is responsible for review and update of the Digital Preservation policy every two years.


The Mansfield Library acknowledges that digital preservation is a shared community responsibility and is committed to collaborating with units within the University of Montana, with other institutions, and with community archives initiatives to share its experiences of preservation for digital content, and to further development in digital preservation initiatives.



Access: The processes for the retrieval of data and information from storage media, through the use of catalogs, indexes, and/or other tools.

Born Digital: Data and information created in a digital format and maintained digitally.

Curation: The activity of managing data and information throughout its lifecycle, ensuring that data are properly appraised, selected, and securely stored, while appropriately maintaining logical and physical integrity and authenticity. Further, the data is made and remains accessible and viable in subsequent technology environments.

Digital Object: An entity in which one or more content files and their corresponding metadata are united, physically and/or logically.

Digitized Materials: Analog materials that have been transformed into digital form, especially for storage, access and use in a computer environment.


Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford Bodleian Libraries Digital Preservation Policy (Version 2.0.3, January, 2019)

Orbis Cascade Alliance Digital Preservation Step by Step (January, 2018): 

Nancy McGovern Digital Preservation Management Model Document (September, 2014):

Daniel Noonan Digital Preservation Policy Framework: A Case Study (July, 2014):