Archival Management

Digital Archives: Choosing Sustainable File Formats

Digital Archives: Choosing Sustainable File Formats

The sustainability of digital materials depends on standard file formats that will last for the long term. As technology changes rapidly, archivists and other information professionals need to use a narrow set of sustainable file formats to retain information between systems and programs. As new formats develop, sustainability must become part of the design process from the beginning to make the efforts of digital preservation successful.

Preserve, Curate, or Steward? Changing Definitions in Digital Preservation

Preserve, Curate, or Steward? Changing Definitions in Digital Preservation

Digital preservation is a series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for the highest utility—and for as long as possible or necessary. Archivists work to save bits and bytes beyond the limits of media failure, software obsolescence, and technological change. The phrase “digital preservation,” however, has been questioned because it may not sufficiently describe what needs to occur for digital materials to be accessible over time.

In this new era, we are creating principles that apply to digitized and born-digital materials, while continuing to acquire, store, and provide access to physical records of enduring value.

Hiring a Photo Editor and Researcher

Hiring a Photo Editor and Researcher

Photo editing and research are time-consuming and detail-oriented. The work requires multiple emails per image as permissions, fees, and usage are negotiated. Captions and credits are unique to each image and must be tracked as well. Take the number of images you’d like for a project and imagine the number of interactions you’d need to secure usage. It adds up quickly. Authors are interested in getting the content of their projects correct. They don’t need the added complexity of securing image permissions. 

Shifting Concepts of Preservation in a Digital World

Shifting Concepts of Preservation in a Digital World

As our understanding of digital preservation, curation, and stewardship matures, archivists and other information professionals have begun to question some of our assumptions about preservation. To address current needs, the practices we have developed and taken for granted for decades are transforming in the digital environment.

In this new era, we are creating principles that apply to digitized and born-digital materials, while continuing to acquire, store, and provide access to physical records of enduring value.

Skills Building for Digital Preservation

Skills Building for Digital Preservation

The archival field lacks people with the expertise needed to extend the digital preservation agenda. Formal training opportunities for digital preservation are still rare, so much is learned on the job. New archivists may be uncertain as to where to acquire specific skills, and seasoned archivists need to broaden their knowledge or expand their roles professionally.

The Data Economy: Funding Sustainable Digital Preservation

The Data Economy: Funding Sustainable Digital Preservation

The Information Age spawns questions for the future. How will we ensure long-term access to information, growing exponentially every day? How will we migrate data as technology moves from one medium to the next? Who determines what’s saved, and what criteria will be used to make those decisions? Most importantly, what is the cost of preservation? Who will pay for it?

Integrating Digital Preservation into Your Archives Program

Integrating Digital Preservation into Your Archives Program

The challenge that many archival repositories face is assimilating digital preservation activities into everyday workflows. In my past positions, preservation of digital assets was an afterthought—if thought about at all. As a consultant, I’ve found that planning for long-term digital preservation is still unclear in most digital initiatives. Awareness about digital preservation is growing, though work and education are still needed.