preservation [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. (preserve, v.) ~ 1. The whole of the principles, policies, rules, strategies, and activities aimed at prolonging the existence of an object by maintaining it in a condition suitable for use, either in its original format or in a more persistent format, while leaving intact the object's intellectual form. – 2. Retention for a limited period of time.

General Notes

Preservation has two distinct senses tied to the length of time the records are to be kept. Preservation1 (sometimes called continuing preservation or archival preservation) connotes long-term actions to protect records from damage or deterioration, or to ensure that they remain accessible far into the future. Preservation2 refers to short-term restrictions on records destruction. However, actions often associated with long-term preservation may be required for records with long, but not permanent, retention periods. For example, tangible records made using fragile materials or virtual records that use obsolete software formats may need treatment to ensure they remain accessible before they are scheduled for destruction.


  • PaaST (1.0) 2017 (†860 Abstract): The requirements reflect the finding of the first InterPARES collaboration that in the digital realm, if you wish to preserve something meant to be understood by humans, you cannot preserve the information object in the form intended for human consumption, you can only preserve the ability to reproduce it. Similarly, if you wish to preserve something that is intended to be run on a computer, you can only preserve the ability to reload it in a computer processing unit. (†2418)