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Preservation Policy

Preservation Header

Seton Hall University Libraries Digital Preservation Policy

June 2016



The Seton Hall University Libraries Preservation policy provides a framework for long-term preservation for the Libraries’ digital assets in accordance to SHU Libraries Strategic Plan Core Values:  “Preservation: We share with all libraries the responsibility of preserving the cultural and intellectual legacy of human endeavor and knowledge for current and future use, particularly those materials that speak to the University’s Catholic mission and tradition of service”  and Digitized Collections Technology Plan for Digital Services, Archives & Special Collections, and Gallery/Museum Collections: A Supplement to Seton Hall University Libraries Strategic Plan FY:2016-2021 objectives 17 and 19).


  • Identify digital objects for preservation and determine appropriate levels of preservation and accessibility
  • Develop an audit schedule and procedures in compliance with NDSA (National Digital Stewardship Alliance) and OAIS (Open Archival Information System)
  • Establish digital preservation roles within SHU Libraries and keep abreast of emerging trends
  • Ensure the long-term accessibility of digital objects


Priority 1: Born-digital materials, including library and institutional records

Priority 2: Digitized materials (no available analog)

Priority 3: Digitized materials (available analog)

Priority 4: Administrative, scholarly, and other digital resources created at the University outside

of the University Libraries (IR, Digital Humanities)

Priority 5: Commercially available digital resources (owned by SHU Libraries)

(adapted from Digital Preservation Priority levels (source Cornell Digital Preservation Management) 

Levels of Preservation Storage

  • Level 1: Dark archive - Files that are not publicly accessible and do not require frequent use, if any (e.g. large master files such as TIFF or WAV formats that are converted into presentation copies).  
  • Level 2: Preservation storage - Files that require safe storage and are accessed frequently. May include public access on a case-by-case basis, when permitted.
  • Level 3: Public access module - Contains preserved files, with access to the presentation copy of the file, website, etc.

Operating Principles

  • Ensure long-term digital preservation for select born-digital and digitized materials
  • Comply with and keep current on digital preservation standards
  • Review of copyright and license agreements
  • Ensure the integrity of the files through scheduled audits
  • Review policies to stay abreast of preservation workflows

Roles and Responsibilities

Digital preservation is a library-wide initiative. Each department produces and/or acquires different digital content and therefore has different digital preservation needs. Departments are responsible for communicating their digital preservation needs to the Digital Preservation Steering Committee and working with the Committee to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of their digital assets.

Selection and Acquisition

The selection and acquisition of items for digital preservation is informed by the Digitized Collections Policy and Preservation Policy.

Access and Use

Access and use will be determined by collection agreements and SHU Libraries policies.



Cornell University Library. (2012, April). Cornell University Library Digital Preservation Policy Framework. Retrieved from

Ohio State University Libraries. (2013, August). Digital Preservation Policy Framework. Retrieved from

University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. (2012, May). Digital Preservation Policy Framework. Retrieved from

University of South Carolina Libraries. (2010, September). Digital Preservation Policy Framework. Retrieved from