Digital storage

Storing your digital archive

Just like paper and other materials from your physical archive and collections require specific storage conditions, your digital archives and collections also need attention. There is after all a chance that files which you created years ago can no longer be opened, appear differently, or respond in a different way.

This applies for files on your computer and server, but also for files which you save on external carriers, such as CD-ROMs, USB sticks or external hard drives. Storing the carriers in good conditions does not guarantee that the saved files will still be readable. Data can disappear as the carrier ages, and hardware and software also become obsolete as technology evolves. New laptops can’t even read CDs or USB sticks without the use of peripheral equipment anymore.

In this section, you can learn what precautions you need to take to ensure your digital archive remains readable and usable in the long term. It’s important to save files in a sustainable format when you create them. Regular testing to see if your files have not become damaged and no information has been lost is also essential. Good storage and making back-ups complete this good practice.

Validating TIFF files with DPF Manager

The process for validating file formats verifies whether a digital file's contents and structure satisfy the requirements set for that file format's specification. DPF Manager is a particularly user-...

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Recommended file formats for keeping your digital archive readable

If your digital archive is properly backed up and/or you save everything in the cloud, then you still have all your digital files. But are you sure can you still open them? Hopefully, you have your p...

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Using DROID to identify files in your digital archive

DROID is a software tool, developed by The National Archives (UK), for analysing your digital archive and identifying file formats (software and version number), based on the PRONOM library. It can a...

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Checksums as a way to preserve file integrity

Digital files are vulnerable, not just because of rapidly evolving technology but also because all digital media is unreliable for long-term storage if you don't have good back-up and control procedu...

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The cloud and cloud computing: what is it and how do you use it securely?

All kinds of artists and arts organisations are using the cloud these days. Platforms such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox allow you to store your files centrally, so you don’t need your own s...

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Disk images to prevent data loss from CDs and DVDs

How can a disk image help you? Writeable CDs and DVDs were used extensively for storage for many years because of their low cost, high availability and easy access. But it is now widely recognised...

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Archiving emails: how and why?

Digitally archiving emails is a challenge for many organisations. Mailboxes are bursting with incoming and outgoing messages, and increasingly becoming a repository for information and knowledge, par...

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Preserving your digital archive

A few basic rules will ensure you preserve your digital archive in a more sustainable way. Use clear names Preserving your digital archive properly begins with giving your folders and documents cle...

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How do you make a back-up?

A back-up or reserve copy duplicates the information found on a data carrier or in an application. These copies are made preventively to safeguard and restore important information in case data on t...

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Dealing with digital carriers in your archive

What if your archive contains carriers such as CD-ROMs, floppy disks, DVDs and external hard drives? If you simply store these carriers without any additional preparation, there’s a good chance that ...

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Keeping passwords secure

You often need passwords for the computer systems and websites you use in both your personal and professional life. But this creates a security risk, and it can be difficult to remember all the diffe...

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