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



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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