Discarding and keeping
Good archive management means you know what you need to keep... and what you don’t. This applies for both your paper and your digital archive. A first step in this process is cleaning the archive. This means removing all harmful materials. In a paper archive, this means materials such as: plastic folders, metal (paper clips, lever arch and box files, staples, ring binders…), elastic bands, sticky tape, glue and so on. And removing any viruses from the digital archive. When cleaning up, we also remove any unnecessary items such as duplicates, draft versions, empty folders, etc. Cleaning up your archive ensures your items and collections are easier to search and care for. A clean archive also takes up less space on the server or in the physical archive storage area.
A great opportunity to clean up your paper and digital archive is when you complete an application or project. You’re still very familiar with the content at this stage, and know which documents are important and which aren’t. You can also schedule a 'trash day', when you make specific plans to organise the digital classification and provide access to it. The focus on a trash day is the digital archive, but you can of course also organise a cleaning up day for your paper archive. Once the archive has been cleaned up, you can determine the value of your documents.