Our digital preservation strategy

Arrow marking on road pointing forward

Our digital preservation strategy applies to the whole of the British Library.

Digital preservation is a lifecycle concern and an organisation’s shared responsibility. This is why our digital preservation strategy applies to the whole of the British Library, not just the digital preservation team alone.

You'll find more details of our activities in the full version of the Digital Preservation Strategy 2017-20 (PDF, 764 KB).

Key strategic activities

The strategy identifies the key activities required to sustain the value of our digital collections over the next few years. These are aligned with the Library’s core purposes of custodianship, research, business, culture, learning and international partnership.

Our strategic priorities are to:

  • Deploy a new digital repository and set of preservation tools for long term preservation of collection content and metadata
  • Ingest all types of content and metadata for long term preservation into the Library’s new digital repository
  • Implement robust processes and reporting mechanisms to provide assurance that content is well managed and preserved
  • Ensure timely and reliable access to digital collections content for the Library’s designated community.

Our vision

Our vision is that by 2020, end-to-end workflows are in place to deliver and preserve our digital collections in a trusted long term digital repository. This is fundamental if we are to achieve our corporate 2020 Vision and guarantee access to future generations.


Digital Preservation Capability Assessment

This project looked at our preservation capabilities as applied to digital legal deposit material


We will preserve and give you access to content on thousands of CD-ROMs in our collections.

Integrated Preservation Suite

We're tackling the threat of technical obsolescence facing our digital collections

Emerging Formats

This project builds our ability to collect publications designed for mobile devices that respond to reader interaction or are structured as databases.

All projects