These pages offer advice to agencies on strategies to ensure access to their digital records in the long term, and provide information about how the National Archives is ensuring long-term access to archival records of the Commonwealth that are in digital form.
Records of government are increasingly created and managed via computer systems. Managing these digital records is a challenge facing all government agencies. A major component of this challenge is dealing with technological obsolescence, and ensuring the accessibility of these assets well into the future.
The National Archives approach to preserving digital records
The Archives has a legislative responsibility to manage, preserve and make accessible the archival resources of the Commonwealth for current and future generations. These archival resources include a large quantity of digital material, and more is being transferred into our custody all the time.
As a consequence, the Archives has undertaken extensive research and testing in the area of digital preservation. The Archives uses the term 'digital preservation' to describe the software, infrastructure and processes it has developed.
Advice for Australian Government agencies
Each agency should develop its own digital preservation strategy to ensure that it can manage and access its digital records in the long term. Other relevant publications and information include:
- Archiving Websites (pdf, 200kb) – specific advice on your web content
- Transferring records to the Archives – on transferring your records, including digital records, to the National Archives
- Access to records held by the Archives – on accessing your records, including digital records, after their transfer.