Related product Collections Management

Archival Preservation 101: An Introduction to the Preservation of Archival Material

Project Overview

Archival Preservation 101 is a series of articles written by the CARLI Preservation Committee over the course of FY2023, designed to introduce topics in the preservation of archival material that would be of use to CARLI members. For instance, how do you formulate a preservation plan for the archival collections you already have?  How do you set priorities? How do you preserve emails and other born digital material? What are the pros and cons of Cloud storage vs. physical storage; and should you utilize both? How are websites archived? How do you preserve digital materials, like eBooks, PDFs, photos, and videos? How can you preserve or use obsolete technology? Is anyone archiving social media? Who’s preserving video games and, more importantly, can we play?

CARLI members may often find themselves in situations where they need to familiarize themselves with archives and preservation. This series will add confidence and provide grounding in preservation issues while giving suggestions you can use for work or personal applications. We will cover how to preserve archival collections and provide suggestions to fund preservation projects.
For institutions, how does preservation play a role in making collections available and accessible? What are unique challenges posed in each institution and what should you do with the items you already have? For the individual, do you have 1,000 pet pictures? What file type should you be using for your photographs and how safe is your Cloud really?

We hope you’ll  with your preservation questions!

- Jade Kastel, Music Librarian, Western Illinois University

Preservation Through Archival Practice

Archival materials found within each CARLI institution showcase history, creativity, and scholarship in Illinois through the materials each retains. Learn a few guiding principles of which to be aware for anyone preserving and maintaining archival materials including original order and provenance. These two concepts govern archival work and preserve the integrity of the records themselves.

Funding for Preservation Activities

Preservation work has funding needs just like any other library activity. Learn about the big-ticket items associated with preservation as well as the ongoing costs of running a conservation lab.

Preservation Through Simple Archival Processing

Archives processing serves to preserve materials by following the guiding principles of provenance and original order. Archivists use arrangement performed through appraisal to gain both physical and intellectual control of the items. These processes serve then to preserve the items.

Email Archiving

Email messages can be a vital part of the historical record. Learn how email archiving presents some unique policy, workflow, and technical challenges.

Digitization and Digital Archiving

Digital content has exploded in recent years as processing and storage costs have come down and demand has increased. Digitization comes with new responsibilities. These include digitization planning, format decisions, and organization of digital objects.

Cloud vs. Physical (Local) Storage

Cloud and physical storage each offers advantages and disadvantages for the digital preservation of archives and special collections; the selection between the two will be dependent on the needs and resources of the institution.

Preservation of Digital Materials

An interview with Kelsey O'Connell, Digital Archivist at Northwestern University, who shares how institutions can preserve their digital collections.

Preservation of Video Games in Libraries

Learn how video games as well as the history of game play are preserved and taught at the University of Chicago's Weston Game Lab at the Media Arts, Data and Design (MADD) Center.

Series Recap

View this wrap up to easily browse this series and return to articles of interest. Within the article, you will be invited to share future topics you would like the Preservation Committee to cover.