An illustration of a clipboard and pencilThis Toolkit aims to offer practical guidance on how to build, maintain, and use a Digital Asset Register (DAR). It starts by taking you through what a DAR is, why you may wish to build one, and who this toolkit is aimed at. Subsequent sections detail what makes a good DAR, a step-by-step guide to developing one, an example template, further details about information gathering, and using and updating your DAR.

This Toolkit is for anyone who would like to create a DAR to aid their digital preservation activities. It is targeted at practitioners who are working with digital resources and would like a method for gaining better intellectual control of their digital content. The Toolkit is primarily aimed at those developing a DAR for the first time, but it will also be useful for those wishing to review and enhance an existing one.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for building a DAR. How you build it will depend on your own context and will need to take account of the types of content to be preserved, what it will be used for, and the wider organizational context. This Toolkit seeks to guide you through a process which will help you to understand what you need from your DAR and how to build and maintain a register that will meet those requirements.

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This toolkit was developed by the Digital Preservation Coalition, with support and funding from The National Archives (UK). Much of the guidance included here was gathered from experienced digital preservation practitioners during a series of focus groups held in November 2023. Many thanks to all who participated in the focus groups, for all of the excellent information and advice provided, and to The National Archives (UK) for their continued generous support for the development of digital preservation good practice.


Accompanying the toolkit are two practical resources to help you build a digital asset register: a Word template for planning the development of your register, and an Excel template for an actual register. The register template also includes a dashboard that will provide summary statistics and graphs about the content described in it. Download these, and a PDF copy of the toolkit using the following links:




An overview and introduction to DARs and how they can be used.
Use this to find out what DARs are and why you might want one.


What Makes a Good Digital Asset Register?

Information on what makes a good (and bad) DAR.
Use this to understand key elements of good practice for creating your DAR.


Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Digital Asset Register

A step by step guide to designing, developing, using, and maintaining you DAR.
Use this to plan out how you will build and manage your DAR.

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Template for Building a Digital Asset Register

A detailed guide to a recommended structure for your DAR, including general tips and advice on format and storage. A list of optional additional headings that might be included is also available.
Use this to help establish the structure and format of your DAR.


More on Information Gathering

Guidance on the information gathering methods you might use to gather the data for your DAR. This also includes a list example interview questions
Use this to find out how to gather the necessary information to populate your DAR.


Useful Resources

A list of additional resources that can help with planning, building, and maintaining your DAR.
Use this as a reference point for further reading on the subject.


This is version 1 of the Digital Asset Register Toolkit (released May 2024). Do contact us with any comments and feedback to help us improve this toolkit.


Attributions for the Digital Asset Register Toolkit should be as follows:
Digital Preservation Coalition, Digital Asset Register Toolkit, 1st Edition,, © 2024


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