Our latest whitepaper, Keys to Digital Sustainability: The Archivist’s Path Forward, written by expert, consultant, author, and Lucidea guest-blogger Margot Note, offers expert guidance on how to ensure archives’ digital sustainability by going beyond traditional archival methods to preserve digital assets—whether they are born digital or digitized.
“Digital assets are complex, expensive, and require an ongoing commitment. Given the costs of preservation and the incalculable loss of digital assets, a practical approach is needed. Understanding that digital preservation is still in its infancy, this paper discusses digital sustainability: the life cycle and technical and social issues related to the creation and administration of digital assets, within the information ecology of an organization. What are the conditions needed for digital assets to provide the greatest possible sustainability?“
Per Ms. Note, “A sustainable approach to archives recognizes that the technologies used today are not permanent solutions, but merely tools that archivists and users will utilize to facilitate access in the future. Digital sustainability plans for future access and use but also recognizes the exigencies of current demands within archival repositories.”
We asked Ms. Note to develop a whitepaper (available here) that presents a wealth of information on the challenges and opportunities archivists face when planning for digital sustainability, combined with additional valuable insights gained from her consulting work with archives clients on such topics as archival project management, archives collections management policy development, and more.
Archival collection development, appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation, and research services have been transformed by technology.
Technology has changed archival collections management, with dramatic but gradual impact.
Many archives use proprietary archival collections management systems; open source can provide an alternative but be aware of hidden costs and risks
Archival collections management includes bringing materials in through accessioning, as collections are physically and legally transferred to an archives.