If so, you are in luck – we have a publication on that very subject. “Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving” was published and announced earlier this year, but I think it’s worth a reminder at this point, especially for those that may not have seen it yet.
Because we are generating more and more content about this topic on our blog, we compiled the relevant posts to make it easier to access all in one place. Access being, of course, a crucial element in any digital preservation plan.
Many of our readers are already aware that personal digital archiving is, for better or worse, becoming a necessity in our time – that is, a time when more and more of our personal documents are in digital form. Anyone who owns a digital camera, for example, has probably figured this out. Remember those days of printed photos placed in photo albums or even stuffed into shoeboxes? Now, since these items are in digital form, so too must be the storage, and eventually preservation, of those items. You’d hate to see a treasured physical item become fragile and break apart, but many people are surprised to learn that items in digital form can be even more fragile.
There are many variables that can affect the preservation of a digital item – outdated equipment or software, inaccessible files, lack of backup, etc. But luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure your documents, photos, and even email, all survive for even the next five years, or longer.
The process isn’t particularly complicated – see our specific advice here for digital photos. But it does require some amount of focused effort to make sure that your treasured personal items are available for your own long-term enjoyment, as well as that of future generations.
“Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving” contains much general information as well as interviews and step by step instructions, all of which can serve the novice as well as those who may already have some experience. You can access and download this publication (free of charge, of course) on our general personal digital archiving page as well as our publications page.
Here are the chapter headings along with a sample of what’s included:
Under “Personal Digital Archiving Guidance”
- Four Easy Tips to Preserving Your Digital Photographs
- Archiving Cell Phone Text Messages
- What Image Resolution Should I Use?
Under “Personal Reflections on Personal Digital Archiving”
- One Family’s Personal Digital Archiving Project
- Personal Archiving: Year End Boot Camp
- Forestalling Personal Digital Doom
Under “Personal Digital Archiving Outreach”
- Librarians Helping Their Community with Personal Digital Archiving
- What Do Teenagers Know About Digital Preservation? Actually, More Than You Think…
- The Challenge of Teaching Personal Archiving
….and many more.
In the meantime, we are continuing to publish more blog posts all the time on personal digital archiving and related events. There is also a section on our website devoted to information and resources on the subject.
As always, we welcome any feedback on this resource as well as your own stories and experiences with personal digital archiving.