The Public Records Act 2005 (PRA) mandates Archives New Zealand to the preservation and access of the digital record of our government. We make sure that the digital information is there when today’s and tomorrow’s New Zealanders need it.
Digital preservation, as defined by the Digital Preservation Coalition, encompasses “the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary".
Archives oversees digital preservation by managing our digital collections. We provide public access to information stored in the Government Digital Archive, referred to as the GDA. Under the PRA, agencies must maintain an accurate record of government, including digital information. The GDA protects, preserves, and provides access to this information to all New Zealanders.
For us digital preservation applies to both born-digital and reformatted content such as digitised records, that we receive from government agencies. We have policies, strategies, and actions in place that aim to preserve the integrity and accessibility of this digital content.
Our digital transfer model includes four basic elements:
Working closely with government agencies to plan and prepare digital information for transfer
Measuring and testing the feasibility of a potential transfer
Engaging in live transfer and deposit upon successful testing
Making the digital records accessible and searchable through Archway, our online search
Once records are deposited safely into the GDA the information is monitored over time to ensure ongoing integrity and accessibility.
Our staff supports digital preservation efforts through the continuous maintenance and management of our digital preservation system. This includes:
designing ingest workflows,
aiding staff users in the deposit of digitised and born-digital content,
testing new application versions, and
solving preservation issues related to file formats.
Beyond managing our digital repository, the team develops and revises digital preservation policies, supports digitisation projects, and investigates open source technology and tools.
If you have any questions regarding digital preservation please email us.
Tools and technology
The GDA is made up of several tools. It integrates with other platforms to allow the discovery, management, and preservation of its contents. These capabilities also allow for the preparation of digital information prior to transfer. Some of the tools that we use are:
Rosetta is a digital preservation system and the core component of the GDA. It allows us to manage digital objects and content. It also preserves digital objects so that access to the intellectual content of digital files is possible now and in the future.
Ingestor is a bespoke upload tool. Its application is used to enable staff to submit new digital objects for addition to the GDA.
Archway is our online search and archival management system. Archway contains the descriptions of over four million records that have been transferred from government organisations to us. When digital content has been uploaded using Ingestor into the GDA, it can be discovered using Archway’s searching and viewing capabilities
DROID is a file format identification tool developed by The National Archives. We use this freeware during the first phase of digital transfer to assess the information that an agency maintains and to determine whether more file format research is required.
JHOVE is an open source format validation tool that we use in conjunction with DROID when analysing digital information that is transferred to us. It checks that a file conforms to format requirements.
Last updated on 17 May 2021