June 14, 2013

An active approach to digital archives

Archiving has long been considered a passive process: put the things you want to keep in a cool, dry place and forget about them until needed. But in the digital era, in which photos, videos, documents and other content are on hard drives, flash disks or on servers in ‘the cloud’ rather than in boxes in a cellar, archiving requires a much more active approach. EU-funded researchers are addressing the problem.

Everybody in one way or another is an archivist. Companies and public administrations need to keep records going back years, media organisations have photos and videos they want to store and reuse, museums try to archive all manner of content for posterity, and almost everyone these days has large personal collections of multimedia content on their hard drive.