Digital Preservation for Libraries and Archives

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on Apr 22, 2015 9:35:00 AM

digital preservation for libraries and archivesFor libraries and archives, data is the only asset that really matters. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to consistently preserve all of the data that your library or archive stores because physical storage mediums such as paper and microfilm break down over time and are very susceptible to damage. What's more, these mediums are expensive and time consuming to reproduce. Unless you have a high-tech, airtight facility wherein nobody has physical access to your archives, this can make the outlook for long-term preservation seem dismal.

Fortunately, you can make sure that all of your archived data is preserved indefinitely by using digital technology. Here are its benefits and how you can start using it to protect your data: 


Why you should use digital preservation for your archives

You do not need any additional space to store digital archives

As your archives grow, you will certainly notice that they take up a great deal of space. If you have not already done so, you have probably considered paying for additional storage space or rearranging your entire facility in order to make room for your physical archives. When you convert your archives to digital files, storage space is never a problem, because digital preservation allows you to store volumes of data in an area smaller than a book.

Digital archives are less expensive

Believe it or not, storing your data on digital technology is less expensive than using analog resources like paper. Yale University recently proved just how expensive paper documents are when they saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by making a small cut in their paper use.

You can make your digital archives accessible anywhere

Physical archives require you to be present at the location in which they are being stored in order to access them. Digital archives, on the other hand, can be made accessibly just about anywhere if you are using the right document management software.

You can make an infinite number of backup copies of digital archives without breaking the bank

Whether you are storing your archives on paper, microfilm or a hard drive, their sudden destruction is always a concern; this is why you make backup copies. As we mentioned earlier, backup copies of physical archives are expensive to make and put a strain on other resources like space. Digital archives, on the other hand, can be backed up as many times as you need to with only the click of a button. 


How to efficiently convert your archives to digital

Get your current archives professionally converted

In order for your archives to exist as digital files, you have to have them converted. However, you have a large amount of data to convert; in order to streamline this process, it is always best to have your archives professionally converted.

Make your newly digitized documents easily manageable

You should not have to arbitrarily scroll through countless digital archive files in order to find what you are looking for. This, however, is exactly what you will be doing if you do not invest in good document management software to keep everything in line.

Implement a system for future conversion

Your digital preservation efforts will continue long after your initial conversion; you should be prepared to convert future archives into digital files as soon as they are sent your way. You will need to invest in a high volume scanner for both regular paper and microfilm. 


Preserve your library's or archive's documents for the future right now

With digital preservation, you can make sure that all of your archives are protected and accessible in the future.


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