You may have heard about the ‘digital Dark Age‘ in recent media reports…
For us, similarly to other institutions in the archives sector across the world, managing, preserving and providing access to born-digital records (records natively created in a digital format, such as emails, documents and spreadsheets) is a major challenge, now and for the years to come.
Why is this important now?
This year some government departments are due to transfer born-digital records to The National Archives to meet their legal obligations under the Public Records Act.
I have been leading the Digital Transfer Project since July 2014 to ensure that we, The National Archives, as well as other government departments, are ready to embrace this challenge.
We have been very busy over the past year and a half, and our philosophy has been ‘learning by doing’. To avoid reinventing the wheel, we reviewed what other archival institutions around the world were doing in the field of digital records management and transfer. We interviewed key UK government departments in order to identify their challenges early, and be able to proactively find solutions. Alongside this we launched a series of pilot transfers to design and test the new process to appraise, select, sensitivity review, transfer, preserve and give access to born-digital records. Continue reading »