Information Services

How do we look after digital archives?

Work with digital objects follows international standards and best practice to ensure the continued authenticity and accessibility of our digital collections.

Work with digital collections begins at the point a potential donor, or member of university staff, contacts the Archive to express interest in transferring records to the archive. At that point the Archives team will engage with the donor to understand more about the collection, its context, how it has evolved, and its ongoing value in research, teaching and learning.


Our collections are managed in alignment with current international standards and best practice, which enables the Archive to provide consistency in how it manages its digital assets, so that each collection and object is treated equally.

All transfers are subject to a number of actions and activities prior to being preserved, which vary depending on the type of content and its origin. At a minimum the Archive team will:

  • Officially accession the collection into the Archive catalogue system
  • Conduct a full appraisal of collections in line with our Collections Management Policy or university retention schedules
  • Ensure the collection is free of any viruses or malware
  • Ensure there is sufficient metadata about the collection as a whole and the individual objects to ensure their long term preservation
  • Ensure the objects, where possible, can be made accessible to a user
  • Ensure the objects are authentic and have retained their trustworthiness
  • Compile logs on activities performed on the collection for audit tracking purposes

Whilst the records are under the custodianship of the Archive, the Archive will carry out:

  • regular checks to ensure that the records remain exactly the same as they were when they were transferred and make appropriate adjustments to mitigate risks to the authenticity of the collections
  • reviews of its systems, hardware and software, capacity and processes and make appropriate adjustments or upgrades to mitigate risks to the manageability of the collections
  • reviews of the local and wider technological environment and make appropriate adjustments to mitigate risks to the accessibility of the collections