Digital Preservation Toolkit

See also: Digital Preservation Survey: 2011 Preliminary Results

This Digital Preservation Toolkit provides accessible template, frameworks, decision trees and documents that are designed to help museums assess their digital preservation needs, to produce policy and procedures around digital preservation, and to develop, select and implement an action plan. Resources are presented in chronological order of need for the development of a digital preservation strategy.

How to use the Digital Preservation Toolkit
The Digital Preservation Toolkit focusses on the development of a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures for existing digital holdings in Canadian cultural institutions. Among other things, the toolkit includes templates for taking stock of your institution’s digital assets, producing a digital preservation policy, and developing a digital preservation plan and procedures. This document is a guide on how resources in the Digital Preservation Toolkit should be used, and provides a workflow for all activity leading up to, and surrounding digital preservation policy and plan development.
Digital Preservation Inventory Template for Museums
Use this Digital Resource Inventory template to take stock of your museum's existing digital resources. In addition to identifying the nature and quantity of digital material, the template helps you to identify the need for a digital preservation plan (including assessment of risk and impact should resources be lost), as well as the scope of work that may be required to implement a plan.
Digital Preservation Policy Framework: Development Guideline Version 2.1
his Digital Preservation Policy framework ensures that any policy you put in place not only conforms to existing standards, but does so in a way that suits the needs of your museum.
Digital Preservation Policy Framework for Museums and Galleries
This policy framework is tailored to standards and practices suitable for digital preservation in museums and galleries, which generally preserve digital assets differently from archives. Specifically, museums and galleries document information about digital assets in the existing collections management systems rather than in a formal digital archive. While the core principles remain the same, the standards and practices differ.
Digital Preservation Plan Framework for Cultural Heritage Institutions (2021 edition)
Once a need for digital preservation has been identified, use this newly revised framework to consider various potential solutions and to select the one that best fits the needs and resources of your institution.
Digital Preservation Decision Tree Model to Establish Whether a Digital Resource Should be Preserved (2021 version)
Use this revised decision tree in conjunction with your digital preservation policy to decide at a glance whether a digital resource should be preserved. The tree may also be used at the policy development stage.
Creator Guidelines. Making and maintaining digital materials : Guidelines for individuals (PDF) | About the freeware (PDF)
This brochure-style document, created by The InterPARES Project can help your museum make informed decisions about creating and maintaining digital materials in ways that help ensure their preservation for as long as they are needed.
Preserver Guidelines. Preserving digital records : Guidelines for organizations (PDF) | About the freeware (PDF)]
hese brochure-style guidelines have been developed by The InterPARES Project to provide concrete advice to those who are responsible for the long-term preservation of digital records. They highlight a number of important areas that are often overlooked in the rush to accept digital documents into archival repositories.
Digital preservation recommendations for small museums

Smaller cultural heritage institutions often do not have the resources to implement the archival systems recommended as best practices by the digital archiving community. Yet they hold digitals assets that require preserving. These recommendations, produced by CHIN, provide concrete steps that can be taken by small to medium-sized museums and similar cultural heritage institutions to preserve their content in the best way possible, within the resources at their disposal. 

These recommendations assume the presence of at least one computer on-site, at least one staff member or volunteer with strong user-level Windows operating system knowledge and a digital preservation budget between $100 and $1000. 

National Heritage Digitization Strategy – Digital Preservation File Format Recommendations
This document was produced by members of Canada's Digitization and Digital Preservation Discussion Group and was submitted to the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. It identifies file formats suitable for the long-term preservation of heritage content. Selection criteria are applied to formats that have been widely accepted, and each recommended format includes a brief description as well as considerations related to preservation. The document also includes a review of selection criteria and a summary of preservation formats that have been recommended by a number of memory institutions elsewhere.
Case Study: 8th Hussars Museum and Archives
The 8th Hussars Regimental Museum of Sussex New Brunswick, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This case study takes a look at how CHIN’s digital preservation toolkit can be applied to smaller museums where finances and human resources are limited.
Case Study: Medalta Museum
Medalta Museum, a mid-sized museum in Medicine Hat, Alberta, has partnered with CHIN as part of its flood recovery exercise to develop its own digital preservation plan and policy. This case study is an account of that activity, and it is hoped that other midsized museums may benefit from the work found herein and the resulting documents.
Case Study: Canadian Museum of History
This case study recounts the digital inventory process undertaken by the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) as a first step in developing a digital preservation plan and policy.

Contact information for this web page

This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on

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