'Preservation' is the means by which archives are protected for the use of present and future generations. It is a word commonly used by record offices, libraries and museums to describe the safeguarding of collections to minimise the risk of loss of records. Preservation is the careful management of change, taking steps to limit, as much as possible, the deterioration which affects archive material, both physical and digital.
PRONI has a responsibility to receive and preserve records that are part of Northern Ireland’s archival heritage. This responsibility applies equally to paper and digital records. Digital Preservation at PRONI aims to preserve digital records to make them available for future generations.
Find out more about Digital Preservation at PRONI.
The aim of the conservation unit is to preserve the archives in their original form for as long as possible.
Conservation work involves cleaning, repairing damage and sometimes, chemically treating documents to slow down deterioration.
Find out more about Conservation at PRONI.
Digitisation means capturing information in a digital or electronic form.
In archives, digitisation means producing a digital copy of a physical record – for example, scanning a paper document into a computerised format. The digital copy is known as a ‘digital surrogate’.
Find out more about Digitisation at PRONI.
Specific details of PRONI’s preservation practices and policies can also be found in PRONI's Preservation Strategy.