Preserving information

Preserving information and records means ensuring they remain accessible and usable.

Information and records will deteriorate over time, whether they’re paper, photographic, digital or audiovisual. While the rate of deterioration will differ, the lifespan of your information and records will depend on how they are managed, and the preservation actions applied throughout their lifecycle.

You should prioritise your most valuable and high risk records and information for preservation treatment.

The preservation strategies you apply should take into consideration:

  • the ongoing value of the information to your business compared to the cost of preservation;
  • how long the information and records need to kept; and
  • how accessible the information needs to be.

Preservation requirements differ for paper, digital and audiovisual formats

You can preserve paper records by carrying out safe handling, transport and display procedures and storing the records in a controlled storage environment.

We’ve provided some advice at preserving physical records.

Preserving digital and audiovisual information and records requires migration to new platforms and formats. Regular and planned migration helps avoid obsolescence and ensures information continues to be accessible and able to be found and understood for as long as required.

More information is available at preserving digital and preserving audiovisual records.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017