Preservation Guide

Click on the links below to access the PDF’s.

  • Navigation Guide
  • Introduction
  • Overview of Preservation
    1 What is preservation
    1.1 Maintenance
    1.2 Digitisation
    1.3 Conservation
    1.4 Restoration
    1.5 What this document covers, and doesn’t cover
  • Getting Started
    2.1 Where to start: cartography!
    2.2 Muster your resources
    2.3 Prioritise
  • Develop a Strategy
    3 Collection strategy
    3.1 Long-term purpose if the preservation work
    3.2 Access
    3.3 Required changes to how the collection is managed
    3.4 What the preservation project should contribute
    3.5 Planning
  • Preservation Strategy
    4 Make a preservation strategy
    4.1 Selection: which materials go first?
    4.2 Conservation: how to keep what you have
    4.3 Restoration
    4.4 Digitisation
  • Make a Plan
    5 Making a preservation plan – and budget
    5.1 What to do
    5.2 How much it will cost
    5.3 How long to wait
    5.4 Creative approaches to funding
    5.5 Getting best value for money: the factory approach
    5.6 Benchmark costs
  • Roadmap
    Migration paths for video media
  • Compendium of Technical Information
    CD and DVD
    Tips and tools
  • The Future of Audiovisual Materials
    8 Future developments & considerations
    8.1 Political
    8.2 Technological
  • The Preservation Factory Approach
    9 The PrestoCentre preservation guide
    9.1 Motivation
    9.2 Approach
    9.3 Some history
    9.4 Preservation factory business models
  • Audiovisual Culture
    10.1 The audiovisual culture


These guidelines were hosted on the Preservation Guide until November 2016, by Richard Wright. The guidelines remain accessible as PDF through this page.

The Preservation Guide wiki was originally created by the PrestoSpace audiovisual archive digitisation technology project as a free source of information and support.

The main purposes of the site were:

  1. to encourage people to ‘digitise now’;
  2. to set out a straightforward procedure for planning a digitisation project: mapping, triage, overall strategy, specific preservation plans;
  3. to support getting funding for digitisation by showing how to come up with plans that had costs, required resources and timescales — the information needed for business cases and funding applications;
  4. to emphasize access — the purpose and public benefits of access to a collection — to digitisation, so people would have a better chance of explaining why their projects should get funded;
  5. to promote the factory approach to digitisation, gaining benefits (50% or more per-unit cost reduction) from taking a collection-level view and planning for the saving of the whole collection (or as much as possible) rather than ‘not seeing the woods for the trees’ and simply running out of time and money in an unplanned fashion — and then implementing that plan using batch-processing, division-of-labour and automation to cut costs;
  6. to be in a wiki format, so it could be adopted by ‘the community’ as a resource.