The ADS is an accredited digital repository for heritage data that has evolved over 20 years of history. The scope and nature of what is considered heritage data and is suitable for deposit with the ADS is defined in our Collections Policy. The core activity of the ADS is the long-term digital preservation of the data that has been entrusted to us. To do this we follow a policy of active data management and curation to ensure the integrity, reliability and accessibility in perpetuity of all data entrusted to our care.

The ADS has been awarded the Data Seal of Approval and endeavours to work within a framework generally conforming to the ISO 14721:2012 specification of a reference model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) as defined by a recommendation of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems. Our Preservation Policy sets out a series of strict requirements for our digital preservation activities, which follow archival best practice and are the culmination of over 20 years of experience in digital preservation. Our Preservation Policy is supported by our Repository Operations Policy, our Ingest Manual and a series of internal data procedure documents.

All our Policies are reviewed annually to ensure that we meet our Strategic Plan, accreditation requirements and adhere to nationally and internationally agreed standards for the preservation of digital material.

The ADS is an associate member of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and proactively engages with the preservation community to stay at the forefront of digital preservation. The ADS is also a founding member of the Bedern Group, an alliance of key UK agencies concerned with the preservation of the intellectual record of the historic environment and has Memoranda of Understanding with many of our key Stakeholder organisations.