The idea of creating a Digital Preservation Policy Toolkit came from the University of Bristol’s request for help with creating their own organizational digital preservation policy. Rather than creating just one policy for one member, the DPC team decided to create a Preservation Policy Toolkit which would become available for all Coalition members. The Toolkit would be tested ‘on the fly’ whilst it was being developed, by staff from Bristol who would create a specific policy for their institution and feed back comments and suggestions to help refine the Toolkit.

The structure and content of the Toolkit was created in a three-day workshop that followed the format of a Book Sprint. The Sprint drew on an array of experience and resources that were gained throughout the SPRUCE Project as well as from the collaborative development of resources including the Digital Preservation Handbook and Executive Guide on Digital Preservation.

Each member of the Sprint team started by offering characteristics of their favourite digital preservation policies, and the example policies and discussion that came out of this session led to a clear direction of travel for the Toolkit. Content was created using successive iterations of brainstorming, writing down ideas, fleshing out text and multiple peer review in order to reach the end result. Google Drive proved to be an effective collaborative platform to develop the content, enabling multiple authors to work within the same document and the comment and feedback loop to occur rapidly. This blog post provides a more detailed description of the event.

Versions and history

Version 1 of the Digital Preservation Policy Toolkit was released to DPC Members in April 2020.

Version 2 of the Digital Preservation Policy Toolkit was released to the whole digital preservation community in March 2023. Revision and update was carried out by staff at the DPC and efforts were primarily focused on updating the template to refer to more recent policy examples. There is more information about how and why the toolkit was updated in this blog post.


This toolkit was created through the collaborative efforts of Stephen Gray, Emma Hancox, Debra Hiom, Hannah Lowery and Julian Warren from the University of Bristol; William Kilbride, Sarah Middleton, Jenny Mitcham and Paul Wheatley from the Digital Preservation Coalition; and invited experts Adrian Brown (Parliamentary Archives), Neil Grindley (Jisc), Edith Halvarsson (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) and Natalie Harrower (Digital Repository Ireland).

Thanks are owed to the University of Bristol for funding and hosting the Toolkit Book Sprint, and in particular for feeding the Sprint team!

Thanks go to Joost van der Nat at DDHN for translating the latest policy work at the DDHN for us, which was fed into the melting pot of information from which we built the Toolkit.

Thanks to Tom Woolley for the lovely illustrations - it was great to work with Tom again, after we last worked together on the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit as part of the SPRUCE Project.

Thanks go to Martin Klein and Herbert Van der Sompel for advice on using Robust Links and to Colin Armstrong for implementing them in version 1 of this Toolkit.

And finally, a big thank you goes out to all the authors of existing resources on this subject which we have attempted to distill, enhance and build into this Toolkit and those who have made their policies available online for others to access and learn from.

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