Skip to main content

Digital Preservation

GPO has statutory responsibility for producing Government information products and for disseminating government information to the public on behalf of all three branches of the Federal Government, per Title 44 of the United States Code.

Federal content creators submit content to be preserved and made accessible by GPO. GPO's preservation repository follows archival system standards to ensure long-term preservation and access to digital content.

Digital Stewardship and GPO

Digital Stewardship is defined as the collective acquisition, management, organization, preservation, and provision of access to digital objects, including data products, for use and re-use by a variety of interdisciplinary and heterogeneous communities over time. Digital stewardship requires preserving and providing access to content with the expectation that community needs change over time, as well as technologies. The Digital Stewardship Vision of GovInfo is to operate a standards-based preservation repository and to implement user-friendly, responsive, and innovative technologies to ensure that all archived content information can be obtained, rendered, used, and understood by the designated community into the future.

Digital Preservation Strategies

In order to ensure that content information is able to rendered and understood well into the future, the repository focuses on the following objectives:

  • Administration of repository architecture in compliance to the OAIS Functional Model (ISO 14721:2012)
  • PREMIS, MODS, and METS metadata persisted within archival packages
  • Active monitoring of file formats
  • Preservation of at least two archival copies of all information content in two separate geographic locations
  • Weekly backups of content over a redundant array of independent disk storage systems
  • Secondary standby disaster recovery instance
  • Virus-scanning of all submitted content
  • File fixity checking
  • Secure systems certification

Read more about GPO's historical digital preservation practices in "Digital Preservation at the U.S. Government Printing Office: White Paper." (PDF)

Trustworthy Digital Repository Audit and Certification

USGPO ISO 16363 Certification Mark

On December 28, 2018, GPO became the first organization in the United States and second organization in the world to achieve ISO 16363:2012 certification. The Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorization Body Ltd. awarded GPO ISO 16363:2012 for GovInfo and publicly announced the certificate on their organization website.

The ISO/IEC 16363:2012 Space Data and Information Transfer Systems – Audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories is the highest official global standard of excellence for evaluating digital repositories for trustworthiness against 109 criteria which cover all components of the digital repository such as:

  • Organizational Infrastructure
    • Governance and Organizational Viability
    • Organizational Structure and Staffing
    • Preservation Policy and Framework
    • Financial Sustainability
  • Digital Object Management
    • Acquisition of Content
    • Creation of Archival Information Package
    • Preservation Planning
    • Access Management
  • Infrastructure and Security Risk Management
    • Technology Inventory and Monitoring
    • Technical Audits
    • Software Replacement and Monitoring
    • Backup

The ISO 16363:2012 standard expands upon predecessor best practices outlined in Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist (TRAC) and Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities. Certification under ISO 16363:2012 provides a repository third-party verified credentials necessary to demonstrate the capability of the repository to ensure the access, viability, security, usability, and discoverability of its content for the long-term according to industry best practices. Certification under ISO 16363 reinforces GPO’s commitment to its mission of ensuring long-term access to Government information. ISO 16363 certification became a key strategic initiative at GPO, starting with GPO’s participation in the National Digital Stewardship Residency program, sponsored by Library of Congress and IMLS. Information about GPO’s process and preparation for ISO 16363 certification is available on the Preservation section of the Federal Depository Library Program website.