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.
When thinking about archives and disaster planning, archivisits must consider how to mitigate theft, loss, and neglect in addition to natural threats
Archivists should create disaster plans that identify risks to people and collections, outline mitigation of risks, and include preservation planning
Archival reference is the process of connecting users to primary sources that answer their research questions and is tied to all archivist activities.
Access is the ability to locate relevant information with descriptive tools providing users with archival materials through reference services.