Trends Towards Incremental Approaches

The Guidelines are not alone in seeking to address the need for preservation spectrums. The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) is a U.S.-based, member-driven association that seeks to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation’s digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations. NDSA coordinates working groups that include curators from both public and private organizations who seek to advance digital preservation for both their own organizations and for the community at large.

Under the auspices of the NDSA, the Innovation Working Group has established a spectrum-based approach termed the “Levels of Preservation.”

In 2013, the “Levels of Preservation” are circulating within the NDSA community as a release candidate one (beta), and are described as:

[A] tiered set of recommendations for prioritizing enhancements to digital preservation systems (defined broadly to include organizational and technical infrastructure)….[D]efining targets for at least three levels of criteria for digital preservation systems, at the bottom level providing guidance to “get the boxes off the floor” and at each escalating level offering prioritized suggestions for how organizations can get the most out of their resources.

There is a growing recognition in the field that building institutional capacity in digital preservation and curation may be best achieved through manageable and incremental approaches.

The Guidelines for Digital Newspaper Preservation Readiness do not seek to apply the NDSA Levels of Preservation to newspaper content directly, but these “Levels” are consistent with our “spectrum” approach and are an important resource for institutions embarking upon (or refining existing) preservation pathways.