Preservation Tools

Software tools provide us with a way of automating specific and possibly complex or repetitive tasks. When applied to digital preservation they can help us solve very focused problems such as identifiying a file format or extracting metadata. They can also help to coordinate a number of atomic tools in a workflow perhaps as part of a trusted digital repository system. Read more in the Digital Preservation Handbook section on Tools.

Finding preservation tools

The COPTR registry brings together listings of preservation tools from a number of different sources, and makes it easy to browse using tags that describe the function of the tools. The COPTR data can also be viewed via the Digital POWRR project Tool Grid, which makes navigation even easier. COPTR is a wiki, and contributions of new tools or experiences in using the tools are very welcome.

Getting started

Digital preservation tools are not always easy to use, and to get the most out of them you may want to work from the command line. This does not however have to be intimidating or challenging! The Siegried file format identification tool is a great place to start, and there are simple step by step instructions on the home page here.

Also see - test corpora

Samples of files to work with can be incredibly helpful, whether setting up and trying out a new tool for the first time, validating it's effectiveness before moving into an a production environment or even testing the tool while it's under development. There are a number of useful sources for Test Corpora - see the detailed list on

For more from the DPC on specific preservation tools and how to apply them, browse the tags below:

Parent Tags



Benchmarking Access at National Archives of Australia

Rowena Loo is the Director, Digital Archives Innovation and Research at the National Archives of Australia. Access – it’s the end goal of all digital preservation activity and the true test of our digital preservation efforts. After all, if no one’s going to access it, why preserve it? If it’s not technically possible to access it, how can we claim it’s been preserved? However, it’s all too easy to focus on the more immediate challenges of transfer, ingest and file format preservation,...

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Digital Preservation at BT Archives

Melanie Peart is Archives Specialist at BT Heritage & Archives. BT Archives was set up over 35 years ago to preserve the history of the then recently privatised company, British Telecom.  Now a global telecommunications company, BT has its origins in mid-19th century telephone and telegraph businesses.  Its history includes, amongst many other things, the iconic red telephone box (or more accurately telephone kiosk), undersea cable-laying and memorable advertising...

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How is DPC RAM being used?

How is DPC RAM being used? Here are some examples of how DPC RAM has been used by members of the community to help benchmark their progress in digital preservation. If you have a example of DPC RAM in action that you would like to share please contact us: Assessing where we are with digital preservation - a blog post from Fabiana Barticioti, Digital Assets Manager at LSE Library From 'starting digital preservation' to 'business as usual' - a blog post from Anna McNally, Senior...

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How was DPC RAM developed?

How was it developed? The model is primarily based on Adrian Brown's Digital Preservation Maturity Model (published in Practical Digital Preservation: a how-to guide for organizations of any size, 2013). This model was developed with the following guiding principles in mind. It aimed to be: Applicable for organizations of any size and in any sector Applicable for all content of long-term value Preservation strategy and solution agnostic Based on existing good practice Simple to...

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Reflections Following an Online Training Conference: 2022 NEDCC Digital Directions

Mzodidi Tutuka is Principal Library Assistant at University at Cape Town Library. He recently attended the NEDCC Digital Directions Conference 2022  with support from the DPC’s Career Development Fund, which is funded by DPC Supporters. I am Mzodidi Tutuka from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. I work at the Digital Library Services (DLS) department which falls under the Information and Resources division within the UCT Libraries. Our department consists of 9...

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Celebrating a sustainable future for our digital assets: Digital Preservation Awards launched for 2022

The search for the very best work in digital preservation has begun again this year, with the launch of the Digital Preservation Awards 2022 as part of the Digital Preservation Coalition's 20th Anniversary celebrations! Organized by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) every two years, the prestigious Digital Preservation Awards is the most prominent celebration of achievement for those people and organisations who have made significant contributions towards a sustainable future for our...

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Digital Directions: Insights from a Virtual Conference

Ruth Schieferstein is a Digital Archive Officer at Historic Environment Scotland. She recently attended the NEDCC Digital Directions Conference 2022 with support from the DPC’s Career Development Fund, which is funded by DPC Supporters. I had the great opportunity to attend the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Digital Directions conference thanks to the generous DPC Career Development Fund. The conference was held virtually over three days and was packed full with...

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Digital Preservation Awards 2022: Sponsorship

We are very grateful to our sponsors and DPC Supporters for their contributions which have enabled the Digital Preservation Awards to take place: Headline Sponsors abrdn HSBC Category Sponsors The International Council on Archives, sponsors of the Award for Collaboration and Cooperation The Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), sponsors of the Award for Research and Innovation Sound & Vision and the National Archives of the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch Digital...

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Isolated Together: Virtual Collaboration for the Advancement of Open Source Digital Preservation Tools

Charlotte Armstrong is Project officer for the Open Preservation Foundation In 2020, amid a global pandemic that isolated many people from their professional communities, the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF)’s Spring Hackathon brought together an international group of contributors to enhance open source digital preservation tools and documentation relied on by digital preservation practitioners around the world. 

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Keeping it FAIR: Providing Access to Reusable Data at the Archaeology Data Service

Olivia Foster is Digital Archives Officer at the Archaeology Data Service in York, UK Staff at the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) have been busy over the last year archiving the data deposited with us, collaborating with partners and rolling out the new OASIS online archaeological reporting system. Digital preservation is one of the core activities of the ADS and as a digital archive we preserve and make publicly accessible archaeological and heritage data in our archives and the ADS...

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Breaking down Barriers in Wales Through the Iffy Tiff

Sally McInnes is Chair of the Archives and Records Management Digital Preservation Group at the National Library of Wales In Wales, we have been working for many years to break down barriers to digital preservation through working collaboratively to increase capacity and skills. The publication of the National Digital Preservation Policy and accompanying Technical Appendix, on Digital Preservation Day in 2017, aimed at ensuring digital resources of enduring value would be selected for...

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Record, upload, archive... repeat

Vera Ferreira is Depositing Officer for Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, BBAW in Lisbon, Portugal and Leonore Lukschy is Programme Administrator & Communications Officer for Organisation: Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, BBAW in Berlin, Germany Homepage of the Archive of Languages and Cultures of Ethnic Groups of Thailand (

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Getting Started with Advocacy for Digital Preservation (Eastern Timezones)

28th July, 0700 - 0830 UTC and 29th July, 0700 - 0830 UTC (click for local times) This training has been timed to be suitable for attendees in Australasia and Asia Pacific, but you are welcome to attend whichever session you prefer. Introduction Digital preservation relies on a wide range of skills and services, so practitioners and managers must coordinate a diverse set of skills, policies, tools and services from disparate sources within and outside their organisations. The...

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Introducing the DPC RAM

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it.” Martin Robb, National Programme Manager, NDA   I’ve heard this phrase several times since starting work on a digital preservation project with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority here in the UK. Colleagues at the NDA were very keen that as part of our two year project with them, we found an appropropriate way of measuring where they are now in their digital preservation journey and establishing a clear direction of travel. Maturity...

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Getting Started and Making Progress training modules

Face to face training is available on request for members. This page provides access to the training resources for the Getting Started and Making Progress courses. Getting Started with Digital Preservation 'Getting Started with Digital Preservation' introduces delegates to common digitial preservation concepts and issues before walking them through the firsts steps they can take to manage their digital assets. This includes bit-level preservation, assessing their digital preservation...

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