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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Enter into deposit and archiving agreements
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description For entire collections or part of collections the organisation might act on behalf of a depositor with whom there should  be a deposit agreement. A deposit agreement or archiving agreement is a formal agreement between depositor of the collections and the organisation performing the preservation of the collections.

A formal deposit agreement enables the depositor and the organisation to understand the roles and responsibilities for both parties. A deposit agreement can be general and cover all material deposited by the depositor or it can be collection specific and cover requirements concerning a specific collection or part of a collection. It  can specify requirements such as retention period, action to be taken when migrating the material etc.

The organisation could consider having a general deposit agreement to cover all types of material and collections, e.g. if the collections in the organisations are very homogenous. For general agreements the  organisation should ensure that  it covers special cases and that the requirements stated in the general deposit agreement are part of the policy for this collection. A general deposit agreement can clarify roles and responsibilities. If the organisation has collection or depositor specific deposit agreements the organisation should make sure that this information is implemented in the related policy.

A deposit agreement should contain as a minimum information on:

                        whether the organisation is allowed to delete material at all or only under certain circumstances
                        the organisation’s policy for disposal that identifies the material to be deleted and  under which circumstances the material can be deleted by the organisation
                        the  retention period for the material
                        the measures needed to be in place to ensure that the deposit agreement is fulfilled
                        whether the organisation is obliged to keep the original digital object, e.g. in case of migration or other kinds of preservation transformations. The information about keeping or disposing of the original in case of migration needs to be added to the information held about the digital object.
                        access rights to the collection.

The organisation should ensure that all requirements regarding terms for preservation as stated in the deposit agreement are part of the policy for this collection.
Why A deposit agreement ensures that the digital material is preserved according to the requests of the depositor and that roles and responsibilities of both the depositor and the organisation are clear.
Risks The lack of a deposit agreement can result in uncertainties about how to preserve a collection and poor decisions can thus be made.
Life cycle stage Curate and Preserve, Create or receive, Ingest, Preservation Action, Access use and re-use, Transform, Dispose
Stakeholder Management: needs to ensure that all agreements are fulfilled
Depositor: needs to be assured that the organisation will fulfil all agreements

Cross Reference Rights
Examples National Library of Australia: “Subject to collecting and preservation agreements that the Library may enter into from time to time with other agencies, the digital information resources for which we currently accept some level of preservation responsibility include (…)”Source:
Control Policy For collection x
  • Deposit agreement IS <value>
  • Original object KEPT equal to YES
  • Geographic locations SHOULD be in EU
  • Number of copies of file >= 3
  • File format MUST be <value>
  • Filechecksum-recalculation date <= today – 1 years
Questions to foster discussions
  • Does your organisation have formal deposit agreements with the depositor of the collections?
  • Does your organisation have a general deposit agreement to cover all types of material and collections?
  • Does the deposit agreement give the right for the holding organisation to delete material?
  • Does the deposit agreement oblige the holding organisation to keep the original digital object, e.g. in case of migration or other kinds of preservation transformations?
  • Does the deposit agreement set a retention period for the digital objects being deposited?
  • Does the deposit agreement cover all types of material and collections?
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