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    Personal digital archiving

    Equipment, Software, and Resources Needed

    1. Hardware:

    • Computer with enough storage space
    • External hard drives for backup
    • Optical drives (optional for older digital archives on CDs and DVDs)
    • Scanner (for digitizing physical documents and photos)

    2. Software:

    • Digital archiving software (e.g., Tropy, Axiell, PastPerfect, Collective Access)
    • Digitization software (for scanners and other devices)
    • Document handling software like Adobe Acrobat
    • Image handling software like Adobe Photoshop (for photo archives)
    • Virus protection software.

    3. Other Resources:

    • Cloud storage services (e.g., Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox)
    • Sturdy file folders and labels (for physical archiving)

    Foundational Elements and Concepts Relating to Digital Archiving

    • Organizing: Understand the importance of organizing your files logically.
    • Preserving: Learn how to maintain and protect your archives from loss or corruption.
    • Accessibility: Be aware of how to make your digital archives accessible to everybody involved.
    • Metadata and Annotation: Understand the importance of providing proper metadata and annotations to your archives.
    • Standards and Formats: Know the correct standards and formats best suited for the kind of data you are archiving.

    Step-By-Step Guide For Personal Digital Archiving

    Step 1: Collection Assessment

    The first step is to understand what you’re dealing with. Know which files, documents, images, and other data types you are planning to archive. Look for patterns, themes, or shared attributes that could be helpful when classifying or categorizing your archives.

    Step 2: Acquisition and Digitization

    If your collection includes physical items, use a scanner to digitize and save them in high resolution. Certain documents should be saved as PDFs, while photos should generally be in JPEG or TIFF formats.

    Step 3: Organizing and Cataloging

    Establish a well-thought-out folder structure or hierarchy on your computer or archiving software. This could be by date, topic, file type or any other criteria that suits your needs. Also, rename your files for easy identification in the future.

    Step 4: Metadata and Annotation

    Metadata is data about your data. It includes information like the date of creation, author, file type and more. Annotations add valuable context, making it easier to understand and use your files later. Your archiving software may allow you to add metadata and annotations.

    Step 5: Data Validation

    Keep your data safe from corruption by frequently checking its integrity. Certain software solutions can automate this process.

    Step 6: Backing Up

    Loss of data is a common nightmare in digital archiving. To safeguard against this, keep multiple backups of your archives, probably in your external hard drives or cloud storage.

    Step 7: Regular Maintenance and Updates

    Over time, software evolves, and data formats can become obsolete. Regularly check your personal digital archives to ensure they are saved in current formats and accessible with updated software.

    Step 8: Access Management

    If you’re sharing your archives with others, set up user permissions and controls to regulate access. This ensures your archives remain secure and only accessible to the right people.

    By following this guide, you should be able to create, maintain, and protect your personal digital archives efficiently and effectively.