Curatorial Guidance for the Levels of Preservation 2.0

Late last year a group of my colleagues and I – co-chaired by Angela Beking and Bradley Daigle – completed a curatorial guide to the NDSA’s new Levels of Preservation.

As I’m sure most practitioners know, there are many moving parts to the preservation effort – from storage and management to appraisal and processing strategy. I think the Levels of Preservation have proved a great assessment tool since 2013, and the revision last year continues that effort. With that said, the curatorial resources linked here are meant to expand the use case for the Levels a bit further.

With this guide (and accompanying decision tree), one can assess content before or after acquisition (appraisal or reappraisal), tracking both the need and the ability to deliver in areas like security, technical or intellectual access and collection development. This can illuminate the case for either reevaluating material or changing processing priority – or, it can build the case for moving from one point on the Levels of Preservation chart to another point. This is roughly structured as a series of questions and follow-on decision points – i.e., step-by-step. Broadly, I hope the guide provides a meaningful “walkthrough” of the resource, illustrating a way to use them that can lead to clear action items.

Of course, feedback is welcome on this through NDSA, as I hope this will be a resource that can see multiple iterations as more is learned about actual and preferred use of the Levels and material around the Levels.

Curatorial Guidance with Decision Guide and Decision Tree (NDSA)