Case Study: NDSA Levels of Preservation

The goal of the NDSA Levels of Preservation is to provide a basic tool for helping organizations manage and mitigate digital preservation risks.

The Levels make use of a matrix that plots standard digital preservation activities such as storage, file fixity, information security, metadata, and file formats within each of four Levels. The Levels walk an institution forward through 1) Protecting Your Data; 2) Knowing Your Data; 3) Monitoring Your Data; and 4) Repairing Your Data.

An example of how the Levels work for metadata is below:

Level One
(Protect Your Data)
Level Two
(Know Your Data)
Level Three
(Monitor Your Data)
Level Four
(Repair Your Data)
Metadata -Inventory of content /storage locations
-Offsite backup of inventory
-Store standard administrative & transformative metadata
-Log events
-Store standard technical & descriptive metadata -Store standard preservation metadata

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