Digital resources

Below is a comprehensive suite of digital resources that can be used or shared. They are listed in order of month and year they were published. This page will be continue to be updated with the digital resources submitted by FAN members. 



Guidance on a New Approach to Managing Email Records (aka the Capstone Approach)

Published: August 2013

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Capstone is a records management approach developed by NARA to address the difficulty of applying traditional records management to overwhelming volumes of email. Capstone offers a more simplified and automated approach. Using Capstone, agencies can manage email based on the work and/or position of the email account owner. This allows for the capture of email records for permanent preservation from the accounts of officials at or near the top of an organisation. An agency may designate email accounts of additional employees as Capstone when they are in positions that are likely to create or receive permanent email records. Other accounts may then be scheduled as temporary and preserved for a set period of time based on the agency’s needs.

While this approach has significant benefits, there are also risks that the agency must consider, including choosing the appropriate Capstone accounts, the possible need to meet other records management responsibilities, and the possibility of incidentally collecting personal and other non-record email. Agencies must determine whether end users may delete non-record, transitory, or personal email from their accounts.

The Capstone Approach was further implemented through several other documents that may also be helpful:




Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records

Published: January 2014

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This NARA Bulletin:

specifies which file formats are acceptable when transferring permanent electronic records to NARA. This Bulletin contains the authorization, scope and general requirements for file formats acceptable when transferring permanent electronic records. It also contains an appendix of tables:

that specify the file formats that NARA will accept. 




Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access: 2015-2024

Published: December 2014

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This document provides a high-level outline of NARA’s Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2015-2024. It divides this into the following sections:

  • Digitizing Objectives

  • Current Public Access to Online Content

  • Definition of Digitizing for Public Access

  • Approach to Digitizing

  • Key Enabling Factors and Prioritizing Digitization Projects.

It provides a broad overview of how the aim to ‘expand public access to our important historical holdings through digitization’ will be achieved. 




Metadata Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records

Published: September 2015

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This NARA Bulletin: 

defines the minimum set of metadata elements that must accompany transfers of permanent electronic records to the National Archives. Per 36 CFR 1235.48, Federal agencies are required to transfer documentation adequate for NARA to identify, service, and interpret permanent electronic records for as long as they are needed. This guidance applies to all permanent electronic records and is a companion to 'NARA Bulletin 2014-04: Revised Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records': 

This Bulletin has two appendices: 

Appendix A, Metadata Element Definitions: 

Appendix B, Recommended File and Folder Naming Conventions: 




The application of technology-assisted review to born-digital records transfer, Inquiries and beyond: research report

Published: February 2016

Source: The National Archives UK

Born-digital records pose many challenges for government departments. These include high volumes of records and a lack of structure of born-digital record collections. This affects not just the appraisal, selection and sensitivity review processes when transferring records to The National Archives but also poses challenges for departments responding to Inquiries and Freedom of Information requests. There are also broader information management and security concerns for born-digital record collections.

The report concludes that technology-assisted review using eDiscovery software can support government departments during appraisal, selection and sensitivity review as part of a born-digital records transfer to The National Archives. This support also extends to responding to Inquiries and Freedom of Information requests, as well as information management and information security.




The digital landscape in government 2014-15: business intelligence review

Published: February 2016

Source: The National Archives UK

The Digital Transfer Project launched in September 2013, to prepare The National Archives and government departments for large-scale born-digital record transfers, starting in 2016 under The Public Records Act. The aim of the project was to develop a scalable process for the transfer, preservation and presentation of born-digital records with long-term value; enabling them to be held securely while closed, and be accessible to the public when open. As part of the project, we undertook a business intelligence review to understand the current digital landscape and digital challenges of government departments in the UK.




Open Source Code Policy

Published: November 2016

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This document describes NARA's policy for the release of custom software code as open source, which is part of the US Government open source strategy, and also helps support sharing and reuse of tools across archives anywhere in the world. The policy document addresses the requirements set out in the Federal Source Code Policy and describes the terms of NARA’s open source code policy, coverage, responsibilities and authorities.




Better Information for Better Government

Published: January 2017


This report, along with the programme of activity it describes, is the government’s response to Sir Alex Allan’s Review of the government’s strategy for managing its digital records and archives. It sets an agenda for change and notes wider, structural issues that require further attention. As all departments are different the focus is on developing collaborative approaches across departments and professional disciplines.


[Synopsis source:]



Transfer Guidance

Published: January 2017 

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

This page provides links to different documents supplying guidance for transferring records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The guidance is divided into two documents. The first document is entitled ‘Metadata Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records’, this defines the minimum metadata elements which NARA requires as well as recommended file and folder naming conventions. The second document is entitled ‘Revised Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records and provides details of the formats NARA finds acceptable to receive. This document includes an appendix stating preferred or acceptable file formats for different categories of electronic records. The page also provides links to transfer guidance issued by NARA which has been superseded.




Digital strategy 

Published: March 2017

Source: The National Archives UK

Archives are special. They are the homes for our collective memory. We use them to help understand the past, make sense of the present, and to guide us for the future. Our ability to preserve and make available digital records will decide what evidence people in the future will have of today. Archives need to develop extraordinary capabilities to ensure digital records can be kept. To do this we plan to:

  • create the disruptive digital archive

  • extend our reach and engaging new audiences using the web

  • transform how the physical archive is accessed and used

  • develop our digital capability, skills and culture

  • forge partnerships with other archives progressing digital transformation




Strategy for Preserving Digital Archival Materials

Published: June 2017 

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

NARA’s digital preservation strategy aims to reduce risk and achieve best practices to preserve and maintain access to their digital holdings. The key components of the strategy comprise the following:

  • Documentation of standards and procedures.

  • A risk based approach to prioritisation of digital preservation activities e.g. in regards to areas such as format and media sustainability and information security.

  • Infrastructure: file management via their Open Archival Information Systems (OAIS) compliant Digital repository.

  • Data Integrity: ensuring authenticity via an audit of digital preservation actions.

  • Collection of comprehensive preservation metadata to ensure that essential contextual, administrative, descriptive, and technical information is preserved along with the digital objects.

  • Wider engagement and collaboration to stay abreast of technological change and emerging risks and practices in order to continually improve their digital preservation practices.




Universal Electronic Records Management (ERM) Requirements

Published: August 2017 

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

The Universal ERM Requirements is a spreadsheet identifying approximately ninety-five prioritised, high level model business requirements for managing electronic records. The scope covers both programme requirements (relating to policy and process) and technical requirements (relating to the specification and procurement of IT tools and systems). These requirements are intended for use as a starting point for agencies when developing their own requirements and it is recognised that they should be evaluated and tailored to specific needs. The requirements are framed in the context of a ‘lifecycle’ model of records management and cover the following activities:

  1. Capture

  2. Maintenance and Use

  3. Disposal

  4. Transfer

  5. Metadata

  6. Reporting

The resource is created and supported by NARA and will be updated to reflect changes in technology, regulations and good practice.




Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program

Published: November 2017

Source: Libraries and Archives Canada

The Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program was launched by Library and Archives Canada in November 2017.  While they already have over 10 petabytes of material (primarily digitisation outputs and audio-visual collections) on LTO tape in their Preservation Centre, they recognise that much more work is required to ensure long-term preservation of all their digital material. The digital preservation program is seen as supporting the digital curation aspects of their wider 2015 digital strategy.

The system will be designed to take into account the OAIS reference model (ISO 14721:2012) and also the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Lifecycle Model:

A key overall objective is that ‘By 2024, LAC will have a sustainable digital preservation program that is compliant with 'ISO 16363: Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories’:

and the system should be able to handle 300 TB a month, with potential for 30% annual growth. The program will comprise three phases.  The first phase will be information gathering, building on the business requirements adopted in June 2017, and leading to a roadmap for development. Phase 2 will begin to take the roadmap forward, refining requirements and determining the amount of investment required, and practices, procedures and policies development plan will be issued. The third phase will be the implementation of the agreed solution.

PDFs (attached to the end of this page): Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program, Library and Archives Canada, BAC Stratégie pour un programme préservation numérique



​Digital Archives of the Future - a podcast

Published: March 2018

Source: The National Archives UK

To mark forty years since The National Archives moved to Kew, Surrey, England, John Sheridan, Digital Director, discusses the challenges that archives will face in the future. John is currently leading efforts to transfer our digital offer to become an archive that is digital by instinct and design.




Technology and innovation – blog 

Published: ongoing

Source: The National Archives UK

Visit The National Archives UK blog for technology and innovation insights from our in-house experts.