How-To Geek

Digital Preservation

Digital preservation is a form of data backup focused on ensuring continued future access to the digital information preserved by the backup process. Whereas a typical backup system is designed to simply duplicate the data so that it may be restored in the event the original data set or host computer is damaged, groups concerned with digital preservation are not just concerned with creating redundant copies of data but ensuring that future generations will be able to access that data.

For example, you can have a backup of a 1980s era computer game, but that doesn’t mean that you can access and play that game with 100% authentic play without the original hardware or emulated hardware. Digital preservationists seek to not only keep copies of information but to migrate it to new systems, emulate old systems, and otherwise provide for future users to interact with the media files, games, and other data in an authentic fashion.

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