Computational access is a term that is mentioned with increasing frequency by those in the digital preservation community. Many practitioners are aware it might be helpful to them (and indeed to their users) but do not have an understanding of what exactly it entails, how it is best applied and perhaps most importantly, where to start. This guide has been created to provide an introduction to this topic and to help the community move forward in applying computational access techniques.



This section defines the scope and purpose of the guide.



This section provides clear definitions of key terms and the relationships between them.


Approaches to computational access

This section looks at the pros and cons of the different approaches and provides real-life examples of how they are being applied by different organizations.


Ethics of computational access

This section provides a summary of the key ethical considerations and signposts further sources of information.


Benefits and drawbacks

This section summarizes key benefits and articulates the problems and pitfalls to be aware of when considering using these methods.


Practical steps to get started

This section offers practical tips to help digital preservation practitioners move forward as well as case studies demonstrating how others have tackled the challenge.


Further resources and case studies

This section highlights a number of useful resources and case studies that can be explored to find out more about this topic.


This guide was created collaboratively in 2022 by Leontien Talboom of University College London alongside the DPC and a panel of community experts. Further information about the creation of this guide can be found here.


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Our thanks go to the Software Sustainability Institute who funded elements of this work.




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