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Proper archival policies and plans can yield great results for the future

Archiving Digital Documents:

We tend to think of archiving as putting an asset away for future reuse, historical reference or to satisfy internal policy. While this is true, archiving also involves eliminating duplicate or unneeded assets.

Good archiving requires well developed plans and policies to make sure that your assets flow through their life cycle and are accessible in your DAM system.

Setting retention and disposal criteria are key to making sure that only assets that support business functions presently and in the future are kept so that they are made easily accessible. As well, it provides that these assets are controlled so that only authorized users can access them as well as controlling any copyrights associated with them.

And remember not everything needs to be kept in perpetuity. Some assets may only need to be kept 6 months while others may need to be kept for 6 years. DAM functions can now alert administrators to short and long retention times.

Digital document assets are easier to archive in a DAM because the text they contain can be searched easily with the DAM database software. Descriptive metadata in the form of a controlled vocabulary is beneficial in aiding in searching, as the language it uses provides additional and standardized access points that will allow your documents to be retrieved with assets in other formats under the same subject heading or topic.

While it would appear that digital documents don’t have the issues surrounding file format that digital photos, graphics and video might, it is prudent to assume that they may in the future. A standard file format should be selected to allow for accessibility in the future as technologies and software change.

For more information:

ARCHIVING DIGITAL ASSETS SERIES:

Introduction: Why Archival Management Is Important?

Archival Management: Archiving Digital Photographs and Graphics