State and local governments are creating vast amounts of information solely in digital form, including land data, school records, official publications and court records. Much of this material is of permanent value, yet is at risk because of fragile media, technological obsolescence, or other hazards. State libraries and state archives typically have broad responsibility for preserving and providing public access to state and local government information of enduring value, but many other agencies also play critical roles in managing and preserving digital information.
States vary greatly in the work already undertaken on behalf of digital preservation, as well as in the resources available for the task. The degree and focus of leadership for digital preservation varies from state to state, as do the specific priorities for immediate preservation attention. This variation comes in part because there is currently no consensus view about how states (or other organizations) should go about doing digital preservation. The challenge is both so new and so large that everyone is still trying to determine the best methods.
This toolkit is designed for library, archives, records management, and information technology professionals to use when considering or planning for a digital preservation initiative. It provides a process for assessing where capability for digital preservation exists and where it must be developed in order to achieve the goal of preserving significant and at risk government information.
The toolkit is presented in four chapters as well as a comprehensive set of worksheets and related materials. Chapters 1-4 and Appendices 1-8 are available for download in PDF. Note: In order to help users of the toolkit compile multiple capability assessment ratings electronically, Appendix 8. Dimension Worksheets is provided also as a separate Microsoft Word document.