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Electronic Records and Traditional Archival Values
With the changing technology, physical records systems are widely replaced with electronic records systems to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the archives. However, an increasing number of electronic record storage systems often experience problems. Retention costs for electronic records are higher in every respect than for physical records because it is difficult to prove compliance with specified retention requirements when electronic data of different sizes and types is stored on multiple devices at any given time.
Another point of consideration is that most analog records are likely to shift to a digital format in the future. This is why archival systems need a repository that can deal with the transition until the collection process is on. Also, in many cases, a single digital record series can incorporate different paper record series. It makes the segregation of information for appraisal decisions complex.
Developments in archival techniques, electronic records, and digital preservation in the past few decades have created new challenges for archivists. These individuals attempt to make sense of these challenges while working to preserve their collections. Archivists work in an institutional environment that is constantly changing. They try to balance the needs of both preservation and access by using a record-keeping system that is sensitive to preservation. The way archivists need to work is quite uncertain due to rapid advancements in technology.
- Machine Dependence
Digital media needs the right set of hardware and software to function. It has changed dramatically throughout the years. The collections may have different formats, from text files to videos, images, and more -with no information about how or when they were created or whether they have been altered in any way.
2. Long Term Reservation
One of the biggest challenges is acquiring a born-digital records collection and deciding what the records include, how to set up files; what is the plan to manage and preserve them, and how researchers will be able to access them securely. It is crucial to have an archival information management system that provides a repository for metadata, a file management system, and advanced digital preservation features.
Digital records can be manipulated in many different ways. By manipulating the data, it is possible to reorder it according to search terms, thereby increasing its usefulness. However, they are also difficult to determine the original source at times. Archivists need to take precautions when dealing with digital records and ensure that the digital records are not being manipulated or misrepresented by third parties.
4. Traditional Archival Values
Traditional archival values are a set of principles that define the way an archive should be managed and preserved. Some of these values are permanence, authenticity, independence, and availability. These values have been around for centuries and have been widely accepted by the archival community. The preservation of traditional values can be challenging because of rapid changes in technology and society as a whole.
Traditionally, archives have been used to preserve documents and other materials that are not meant to be edited or changed. However, the digital world has changed this idea. Digital archives provide a way for people to access and search through content that is constantly changing. These archives are useful because they allow people to explore material in a variety of ways without having to physically visit an archive. However, archivists need to adapt to these changes while still maintaining their traditional values.
In the digital environment, it is important to consider how digital technologies can complicate the process of archival appraisal. The electronic environment has introduced new challenges that need to be addressed as they arise. It is not easy to determine the authenticity of an electronic document, especially when it has been created in a different time and place. Plus, all the above-shared points are practically challenging for archivists.
Archival Collections Management Systems like iARCH can help in the effective management of the archives. With modules such as collections, cataloging, search portal, multimedia content, reporting, custom dashboards, and more, iARCH can make your electronic record management process quite easy. Get in touch today to discuss your archival management needs and get a customized quote!