Archival Management: Photo & Graphics Archiving Different versions of the same image

Setting up a good retention and deletion policy for digital photographs and graphics is highly important. This policy needs to take in to account how to deal with variations and versioning of these assets. Determining for your business what is the best version to keep.

Keeping a photograph or graphic for the short or long term will also determine what format these assets should be kept in. A graphic might not need to be kept if it has little reuse value and is archived as part of a document. On the whole an original photograph with RAW file and metadata would be better kept than a variation that has been highly edited. For long term archival storage it is important to consider using digital formats that will be easily accessible on hardware and software in the future. Choosing a non-archival format for graphics and photographs may mean that they are inaccessible to your organization in 2, 5 or 10 years when technology has moved on.

For example, recently Archimedia assisted a higher education client on asset retention and sunsetting. This client has decided to limited their collection of student photos in their system to 3 years from their shoot date. This reflects how fast fashions change on their campus, which limits the asset’s reuse over time. These get archived automatically in Asset Bank and placed into a separate access level when they expire taking them out of the public eye. Actions can then be performed to do an export of the assets and their metadata for transfer to the school’s library and archives.

Setting up good descriptive metadata is also key for long term archiving and reuse of key graphics and photographs as these assets do not come with enough information to make them easily searchable. It is a delicate balance with these assets as to how much metadata is wanted versus how much can be inputted by staff as part of their workflow.

Including good descriptive metadata, like a title, description, keywords, copyright information, creator’s name, campaign information and other such data can be very important to retrieving these assets. Staff often doesn’t have the time or the attention to detail needed to constantly input this information for all assets. Thinking about whether all this information is needed and how much is needed is vital to making these assets work for your organization.

For more information and suggestions for archiving digital photos and graphics:



Introduction: Why Archival Management Is Important?

Archival Management: Archiving Digital Documents

Archival Management: Archiving Digital Video