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Digital Preservation: Introduction

This guide is an introduction to fundamental concepts of digital preservation.

Introduction to this guide

Purpose of this guide

This library guide provides an introduction to the basic concepts of digital preservation (DP). As more and more digital material is generated and stored in a wide variety of contexts (universities and other research organizations, cultural heritage institutions, government agencies, private entities and many others), the issue of how to properly preserve this content and assure that it can be accessed in the future and utilized becomes crucial. Practitioners in the field of DP establish systems to effectively navigate these complex issues and protect the authenticity and accessibility of digital assets.   

The sections in this guide focus on different aspects of the DP process. Also provided are links to external resources that you can use to continue expanding your knowledge on this topic.

NEH grant project

This guide was created as part of the project titled "Listening to Puerto Rico: The Promise of Oral History On-Campus and Beyond", funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project involves the creation of an Oral History Lab at UPRM for the collection of oral history interviews and their subsequent preservation for future access.

The present guide supports the goals of the project by serving as an instructional resource that covers the fundamentals and best practices of DP. Having an understanding of these topics will help us ensure that the unique digital objects created through this initiative will remain secure and accessible in the future.


DP is a highly complex professional discipline. Ideally, DP work must be conducted by people with expertise in this field. Likewise, education about DP is best provided by specialists with significant experience in real-life situations and scenarios.

While the General Library at UPRM does not have personnel specialized in DP, we have done our best to learn about this field and create policies and workflows that protect the integrity of our digital assets. In creating this guide, we have conducted research about fundamental concepts and broadly accepted practices in order to provide a general introduction to DP. While we believe this guide to be a very useful resource, we encourage you to look beyond and seek additional sources if you are intent on becoming a DP expert.

We hope you find the contents of this guide helpful!


Versión en español


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University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
General Library
Graduate Research and Innovation Center
259 Ave. Alfonso Valdés Mayagüez, PR, 00681
(787) 832-4040, ext. 6229 or 2309