Digital Archiving Resources

What is an Archive?

Title

What is an Archive?

Description

Archives are collections of primary sources, cataloged and grouped for the purpose of preserving and making accessible the records of society’s cultural and historic heritage. Laura Millar, noted archivist and author of Archives principles and practices, defines the mission of archives “to acquire, preserve and make available the documentary memory of society…”(Millar 2010). These entries will focus on the explanation and description of an archive and why they are important to society. What does it mean to be an archive and what is the value of an archive?

Items in the What is an Archive? Collection

Archives for All: Professional Responsibility and Social Justice
Jimerson argues that in the information age, knowledge is power, and power is determined by those who determine what information will be preserved for the future, i.e., archivists. Therefore, archivists should use their power to benefit all members…

Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar
The Advanced Studies Center of the International Institute of the University of Michigan held a year-long Sawyer Seminar from 2000-2001 to investigate the complicated relationships between archives, forms of documentation, and societies. The program…

Keeping Archives
This book provides a comprehensive manual that covers key areas of archiving. Its audience is that of the novice and student archivist. In addition to it textbook format, the material in the book examines the role of the archival profession in the…

Community Archives: The Shaping of Memory
Community Archives is part of a series called Principles and Practices in Records Management and Archives. The series aims to augment the body of professional knowledge and understanding currently available. Each book in the series offers a detailed…

Digital History: A Guide To Gathering, Preserving, And Presenting The Past On The Web
Daniel Cohen, professor of history at George Mason University and director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the late Roy Rosenzweig, professor of history and innovator in digital scholarship at George Mason University…

Archives: Principles and Practices
As the “Foreword” by Geoffrey Yeo says, Millar explains archives as “the tools we can use to help us understand where we came from and where we are going” (vii). Her book explains ways of understanding and supporting archives. It sets up…

The Converging Histories and Futures of Libraries, Archives, and Museums as Seen through the Case of the Curious Collector Myron Eells
Michael J. Paulus, Jr., librarian and professor at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington, compares Myron Eells’ 19th century eclectic library and his method of recordkeeping to postmodern trends in contemporary libraries, archives, and…

Defining "born digital": an essay
Erway provides a succinctly defined list of fundamental tasks and issues to consider when creating and preserving digital collections. Born-digital resources are simply “items created and managed in digital form.” Erway begins his essay by…

Becoming Digital: The Challenges of Archiving Digital Photographs
Digital photography has recently become one of society's important means of recording. For this reason it has also become a potential archival record of great significance. However, as of yet, few born-digital (defined in opposition to "made digital"…

NARA Archival Storage Standards
A primary preservation goal is to house all records appropriately based on their size, format, and composition. Housing
enclosures provide physical support and protection as well as a buffer against adverse or fluctuating environmental
conditions.…