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The theory behind emulation is that the only way to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the digital object over the long term is to continue to provide access to it in its original environment, i.e., its original hardware, operating system and software application. Emulation does not focus on the digital object, but on the environment in which the object is created and rendered. This introduces a number of benefits above other strategies such as migration:

* The digital object is untouched, thus kept in its original format
* No (periodic) file conversions are required
* No extra storage space is required (as is if you keep the original after each migration)
* One emulator can offer access to a whole range of applications