Floppy discs on a desk.

Digital preservation programme

The goal of the digital preservation programme is to enable us to meet our mandate to collect, make accessible, and preserve in perpetuity, New Zealand’s digital heritage, as defined by the Library's collection policy.

On this page

National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA)
Brief history of the NDHA
What we collect and preserve
Digital Preservation strategic documents


National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA)

Born digital and digitised items created or collected by the Library are held in the library’s digital preservation repository, the National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA).

The NDHA went live in October 2008, and is maintained by the National Library’s Preservation, Research & Consultancy (PRC) team.

AS of May 2019, the National Digital Heritage Archive holds:

  • 23 million files
  • spanning across 214 different formats, and
  • consisting of 277 Terabytes.

Brief history of the NDHA

In 2003, the National Library of New Zealand Act was passed providing the mandate for the Library to begin collecting and preserving New Zealand’s digital heritage in ways that ensure current and future access. This resulted in the establishment of the National Library’s digital preservation programme.

In 2004 the Library launched its National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) project, the foundation for its digital preservation programme. The NDHA programme was developed within the framework provided by NASA’s Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model.

The OAIS reference model — article on the OCLC website

In 2006 the Library formed a development partnership with Ex Libris to build a digital archive and preservation management system and the resulting Rosetta digital preservation system was launched in October 2008.

Ex Libris

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary in 2018. We have documented key milestones achieved by the NDHA programme in our NDHA timeline 2003-2018 document.

NDHA timeline 2003-2018 (pdf, 420KB)


What we collect and preserve

The Library collects a wide range of digital material, such as:

  • websites
  • manuscripts
  • photographs
  • cartoons
  • annual reports, and
  • many digital publications.

These items are actively collected under the mandate of the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 and as defined by the Library's collection policy.

Almost all of the collected digital and digitised materials are currently preserved in the National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA).

National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003

National Libary of New Zealand Collections Policy


Digital Preservation strategic documents

We have a number of guiding documents, policies and strategy documents that guide our digital preservation programme.

Digital Preservation Strategy

The National Library and Archives New Zealand have a shared policy programme for digital preservation activities. We are committed to working together to preserve digital content. The strategy ensures that the digital content is managed and preserved in a way that reflects its status as a knowledge asset and taonga of New Zealand.

Digital Preservation Strategy (pdf, 430KB)

Digital Preservation Policy Manual

Our 'Digital Preservation Policy Manual' outlines the processes and operating rules that the Digital Preservation Team at Archives and the Library are required to follow in the course of caring for the digital content.

Digital Preservation Policy Manual (pdf, 2.0MB)