Basic Information

Guidelines for Creators of Personal Archives: Why Should I Bother Managing My Digital Materials? (Paradigm)

Explanations of three timeless reasons why it’s never too late to start a personal digital archives project. This resource was created by the Paradigm project in the UK in 2005-2007, but it’s ever bit as valid today as it was back then.


Why Digital Preservation Is Important for You (7:40) (Library of Congress)

Increasingly our possessions and our communications are no longer material, they’re digital and they are dependent on technology to make them accessible. As new technology emerges and current technology becomes obsolete, we need to actively manage our digital possessions to help protect them and keep them available for years to come. This video offers simple and practical strategies for personal digital preservation.

Transcript is available here:

Why Digital Preservation Is Important for Everyone (2:50) (Library of Congress)

Traditional information sources such as books, photos and sculptures can easily survive for years, decades or even centuries but digital items are fragile and require special care to keep them usable. Rapid technological changes also affect digital preservation. As new technologies appear, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content

This video explores the complex nature of the problem, how digital content unlike content on traditional media — depends on technology to make it available and requires active management to ensure its ongoing accessibility.


Personal Digital Archiving (1:03:02) (Mike Ashenfelder, ALA-ALCTS)

This overview video, recorded April 24, 2013 during Preservation Week, is by the Digital Preservation Project Coordinator at the Library of Congress. Further information and other formats available at the website:

Additional webinars produced for librarians but of broad interest are also available.


National Digital Information, & Infrastructure and Preservation Program. (2013). Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Retrieved from

An edited volume of material containing a smorgasbord of good and accessible content.  This in-depth guide covers a variety of PDA topics. It includes advice on everything from file formats and descriptive metadata to helping people plan for the digital legacy they will be leaving behind. Practical advice is interspersed with humorous anecdotes about PDA experiences. This is one of the most readable and relatable PDA guides out there. The first two sections can be read and enjoyed by anyone interested in PDA; the third section is, however, specific to PDA concerns in in libraries might might nonetheless be of broad interest due to the nature of the topic.