Click here to skip to content

Digital preservation strategy

Digital preservation is a lifecycle concern and an organisation’s shared responsibility. Our digital preservation strategy (2013 – 2016) recognises this and implements a cross-directorate governance structure to ensure it can be achieved. This is not a strategy for the digital preservation team alone, but a strategy for the whole library.


The Library has been working hard since the turn of the millennium to ensure our digital collections can be reliably preserved. As an ‘early adopter’ in digital preservation, we play a leading role in the international digital preservation R&D community. We have developed and enhanced our digital library system and workflows to embed support for long term preservation through such functionality as integrity and fixity checking, content stabilisation, format validation and file characterisation, delivering projects focusing on specific types of content or formats.

We are now consolidating this work to confidently, reliably, and cost-effectively manage and preserve all types of digital content destined for long term preservation, and embed best practice in digital collection content management in all areas of the Library.


By 2020, end-to-end workflows are in place that deliver and preserve our digital collections in a trusted long term digital repository so that they may be accessed by future users. This is fundamental if we are to achieve our corporate 2020 Vision and guarantee access to future generations.

Strategic priorities

Our four strategic priorities are the high level objectives that will progress us towards our vision. Each priority is accompanied by a series of actions. These priorities are aligned with the Library’s overall approach to Collection Care and our five principles of sustainable stewardship: to predict, protect, prioritise, preserve, and enable.

  • Strategic Priority 1: Ensure our digital repository can store and preserve our collections for the long term
  • Strategic Priority 2:  Manage the risks and challenges associated with digital preservation throughout the digital collection content lifecycle
  • Strategic Priority 3: Embed digital sustainability as an organisational principle for digital library planning and development
  • Strategic Priority 4: Benefit from collaboration with other national and international institutions on digital preservation initiatives

Full details of each can be found in the full version of our strategy: British Library’s digital preservation strategy 2013 - 2016


PDF files

The links below are to Adobe PDF files. Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.

Back to top Back to top

By using this site, you agree we can set and use cookies. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy.