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

GPO is preparing to become the first Federal agency to be named as a Trustworthy Digital Repository for Government information through certification of its flagship system under ISO 16363.

The ISO 16363 Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories standard will be used by an accredited outside organization to assess the system against 109 criteria covering Organizational Infrastructure, Digital Object Management, and Infrastructure and Security Risk Management. While a number of digital repositories have already been certified as TRAC-compliant, none of them are operated by Federal agencies. A certification under ISO 16363 will reinforce GPO’s commitment to its mission of ensuring effective public access to Government information through its assured preservation in digital formats.

To prepare for external certification, GPO has participated in the National Digital Stewardship Residency program, sponsored by Library of Congress and IMLS, in order to have a Resident perform in internal assessment against the 109 criteria of the ISO 16363 standard. GPO has reviewed and expanded existing policies, procedures, workflows, and programmatic digital preservation practices in response to this internal assessment.

In August 2016, GPO released a Request for Information to elicit information and to better understand the auditing processes and certification opportunities for govinfo under ISO 16363:2012 accredited certification organizations and to identify organizations that could perform the audit.

In October 2017, GPO released a solicitation in order to procure an external certification body to perform the formal audit. In January 2018, GPO awarded PTAB a contract to perform a formal external ISO 16363:2012 audit. GPO believes we are likely to be the first Government agency to receive TDR certification sometime in 2019.

To follow news and updates on GPO’s process for ISO 16363 Certification, visit