Digital preservation

The preservation of digital records presents new challenges for archives. Digital storage media are not stable, and digital file formats depend on hardware and software that quickly become obsolete. Record-keeping controls that existed in the paper world to ensure the authenticity and reliability of records are often lacking in a digital environment.

In 2016, SFU launched its digital repository to begin addressing some of these issues. Digital preservation goes beyond storage. It combines infrastructure, people, polices, strategies, and actions to ensure continuing access to materials across time and changes in technology. There is still much work in front of us, but SFU Archives is now positioned to carry its mandate into the world of modern digital records.

University records

University records (paper or digital) are scheduled under Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authorities (RRSDAs). Digital records designated for Selective or Full Retention may be transferred to the Archives at the end of their total retention period. Consult with the Records Management Archivist for more information.

Private records

Private donors of archival materials may transfer digital records to the Archives under the terms of a Donation Agreement. Consult with the Acquisitions and Outreach Archivist for more information.


The Archives stives to makes its internal documentation publicly available where this may be of interest to other institutions, archivists, donors or researchers. See the Archives GitHub site for more information.

Last updated: May 10, 2024