Digital materials require active intervention to be usable over time, since technology is constantly changing. "The more we use these files or transfer them from one technology to another, the greater the potential for data corruption. Digital files also run the risk of deletion due to accident or disaster. Having a preservation plan can mitigate the risks of obsolescence, erasure, or other forms of data loss." This post lists some simple suggestions for organizing digital files for long-term preservation, although everyone will have their own methods. Some digital preservation is better than none.
Preservation Steps for Personal Digital Collections:
- Identify digital materials to save. Make a list or inventory
- Gather the files you want to save into one place
- Select what you really want to safe; define the scope of your digital collection
- Organize your digital files and add descriptive information to the file name, or other important information
- Give your files short, meaningful names, preferable when creating the files
- Use a meaningful directory structure to organize the files
- Back-up the files and have multiple copies:
- 3 copies
- 2 of the copies on 2 different types of storage media
- 1 copy in a different location
Digital preservation is an ongoing process, so files and storage technology should be checked periodically.