Digital Collections

Sustainability & Preservation of Digital Collections

Digital content is created and collected by everyone, not just libraries and archives. Keeping digital content viable requires not only energy use, but also refreshing the digital storage media and technologies.

Online Resources from Professional Organizations

The Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) is an answer to the pressing need for comprehensive workshops, online tutorials, and web resources dedicated to the lifecycle of digital stewardship. The SHN is a collaborative project that complements the work of Indigenous peoples globally to preserve, share, and manage cultural heritage and knowledge.

Levels of Digital Preservation (National Digital Stewardship Alliance)
A resource for digital preservation practitioners when building or evaluating their digital preservation program.

Sustainability of Digital Formats (Library of Congress)
This site provides information about different digital content formats.

Articles and Guides

The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap
A guide to help you produce an effective ongoing sustainability strategy, or to assess the effectiveness of your current strategy.

Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation
This 2019 article proposes integrating environmental sustainability into digital preservation practice by shifting cultural heritage professionals’ paradigm of appraisal, permanence, and availability of digital content.

Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation
This blog post by the Digital Preservation Coalition contains multiple posts and articles about digital preservation and sustainability.

Is digital preservation bad for the environment?
This blog post discusses the environmental cost of preserving digital information and presents ideas for ways to make digital use more environmentally friendly.

The Necessity of Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation and its Effects on Preservation Workflow
This essay investigates which aspects of digital preservation affect global warming, and how cultural heritage institutions can maintain good preservation standards.