So you find yourself in the inevitable position of either starting, maintaining or updating your archive or collection. By no means a small task but one that you have to complete. So where do you begin? What do you need to consider when working with the archive?
1 – Structure
Form a structure. The ISAD (G)* standard is a good starting point but expand upon it and ensure you base your structure around your own needs. Consider what is going to make your data and collections findable.
2 – Describe
Make sure you describe your archive and or collection clearly. A brief synopsis of what it contains and the reasons behind its creation in the first place.
3 – Access
Find out who will need to access your content. You may need to provide granular access and restrictions to some of your archive.
4 – Security
Do you have the full rights and permissions to make this archive or collection fully accessible for your intended audience?
5 – Physical Requests
Do you have a process in place that allows handling access requests to physical items and at set times or days of the week and an area where these can be viewed securely?
6 – Downloads and Digital Documents
Consider the access process, rights and security for your digital content and eBooks. Are users allowed to print or share the documents they access?
7 – Maintenance
Put a maintenance plan together. Set out review times and retention periods for your archive.
8 – Finally
An archive is a term we are using in this article but perhaps you have a mix of archive, internal and current published material, so ensure your system can manage all material types in one place
We hope the above is helpful. We are interested to hear what you have you found useful when creating, maintaining or updating your archive?
Find out more about ISAD(G) (General International Standard Archival Description) on Wikipedia.
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