The volume of records created in a digital format is growing. Such records can take a number of forms, including websites, emails, word documents, blogs and spreadsheets. The records we keep digitally, however, are more vulnerable than paper records, largely because technologies are evolving at such a fast pace. The lifespan of a digital record can be as little as five years. Hardware and software falls out of use, while the media on which information is stored deteriorates. Essential information can therefore easily become unreadable and unrecoverable.
We therefore need to ensure that digital records are managed actively and appropriately in order to ensure their long term accessibility. Archive services across the North West have produced a set of guidelines, aimed at individuals and small organisations who hold records in a digital format, offering practical advice on taking the steps necessary to ensure that these digital records are managed suitably.