Digital Design Records Taskforce

The issues of preservation and curation of architectural records have been further exacerbated by the technological advancements of architects’ tools, namely Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) and Building-Information Modeling (BIM) software programs. The mammoth size of the issue of saving CAD/BIM files requires a multi-step plan that effectively, but gradually, addresses the layers of complications this effort will unfurl. The first step is to create an inclusive bibliography of past, current and scheduled future projects that address the legal, technical and curatorial complexities of CAD/BIM files. Recognizing the complexity and wide-reaching nature of born-digital architectural records, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Design Records Section created a CAD/BIM Taskforce in August 2012, at the SAA’s Annual Conference.

With an understanding that born-digital records can encompass more than CAD/BIM software, the CAD/BIM Taskforce changed its name in 2019 to the Digital Design Records Taskforce at the SAA Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.

After the 2015 SAA Annual Meeting the CAD/BIM Taskforce refocused its efforts moving from research mode to proactive actions. Three major areas were identified:

1. Preserving older technology/software
2. Researching trends/future technology/software
3. Reaching out to related design professions (urban designers, planners, landscape architects, etc.)

Beginning in September of 2015 we began addressing the first topic, establishing a list of action items for preserving older technology/software.


These documents, including reports of activities and ideas for future research and collaboration, are provided to the DRS by the Digital Design Records Taskforce (digitaldesignrecordstaskforce at gmail dot com). DRS members who wish to join the Taskforce may contact them directly.

Descriptive Elements for Born-Digital Records in Architectural Collections 1.0.pdf350.84 KB
2019 DRS DDRTF Update.pptx686.58 KB
2018 DRS CAD_BIM Update.pptx578.1 KB
CAD BIM Taskforce Report 2017.pdf328.31 KB
2014_CADBIMTaskforceReport.pdf275.87 KB
CAD BIM Taskforce Report 2013.docx18.67 KB
Leventhal_Schroffel_Thompson_Deeds FINAL.pdf205.37 KB
20160508_SurveyResultsDigitalDesignHoldings.pdf165.78 KB
IS&TPaper_Aliza Leventhal.pdf157.32 KB
AR Taskforce_Born Digital StudiesBibliography_AL+IZ_FinalDraft_revised.pdf605.02 KB