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Digitizing Archives in Managing Documents

Before we talk about digitizing archives, you guys need to know about what archive is. In general, archive is activity log recording or information resource in many types that was made by department, organization, or personal. Archive can be mail, certificate, awarding paper, book, etc, that being collected as a legal information for an event / activity. Technology now changing the archive look like. From analog or physical to digital or virtual.

While archive management is keeping the records from the beginning till the end of one event or process in one system. So when we need the data, it can be found quickly and precisely.

Electronic Archive

Electronic archive (e-archive) or digitizing archives is a system that collecting the information from the record files and being placed on the computer as electronic files (Document Management System/E-Documents) for a purpose to make them can be accessed, managed, reused.

Based on Professional Explanation

These are some explanations from the professional about electronic arhive.

  1. Based on Australia Archive in “Managing Electronic Record” book, electronic archive as an archive that being created and maintained as transaction evidence, activity, for department or personal that being transferred into or between computer system.
  2. Wallace said, “electronic files are based on information sets that was recorded to the readable code and being saved to some medias, so it can be readable and reusable in the next.
  3. National Archive and Record Administration (NARA) USA defined, electronic archive is archives that being saved and maintained to the exact form that can be processed by computer only.

Positive and negative values of Electronic Archive

Technology existed and bring the easiness for us dong office work. That is a hope to bring the office will be better in the next future. These are the positive values to maintain the digital archive or digitizing archives than using the conventional archive like it was.

  1. The process of discovery and presentation can be done quickly and completely. Complete means that everything that is needed can be obtained without missing anything.
  2. Distributing the information can be done in quick time, in same time, and being shared to everyone.
  3. Information saving is centralized, so can prevent about duplicate file.
  4. The level of accuracy is so high
  5. Reduce the paper needs will decrease the space needs too. Because we moved it digitally.

For the next, these are the negative values about the digital archive.

  1. System procurement costs are relatively expensive.
  2. There is possibility to manipulate the information digitally.
  3. The possibility of damage file without any indication, such as a server that was attacked by a computer virus or personal errors that accidentally delete files permanently.

The Ease of Manage the Archive Digitally

As we know, bring the archive to digital version always make us feeling easier to manage the archives. Professional archiver named Sugiarto said about the ease of digitizing archives.

1. Automation Retention

Saving the archive on computer will make the possibility of automation retention  at the files. If there are documents that have expired, they will be given a warning to be followed up by the user, whether the file is destroyed or documented in a passive document. Surely, we can do some actions after get the notification. Passive documents mean they are deactivated and backed up in external storage, and can be reactivated if needed.

2. Can Be Connected to a Computer Network

The users can connect the archive system with network system globally or just in wide area network. By connecting the system to the network, it will allow the users to access it as multiuser system. So, this digitizing archives can give us so much benefit in once.

3. Knowing the Location of the Physical Documents

The users can get the ease of find the path of hard copy the files documents. Also having access to know where the archive building at.

4. Pics and Voice Files

Scanner allows you to  convert physical files or documents as visual data. Some scanners, even can fix the quality of the pics like set the brightness, sharpness, contrast, etc.

5. Search Engine Features

Computer has ability to searching the documents in a short time. The users just need to write down the keyword on the search tab, and then can see the results in a moment. Seems little bit different to conventional archive, that should be searched manually one by one.

6. Easy to Operate

Inside the computer there are programs that are visually oriented so that it is easy to operate by its users. This concept is commonly known as Human Computer Interactive. For example, if we want to print a document then just simply press the print icon (make sure the computer is connected to the printer), to save the document simply press the Save or Save As icon, and so on.

7. Archive Condition Report

Electronic archive in a fact, bring us the ease of arrange and manage the reports. Archive condition report can be made according to form and list that was made by the users. Its like archive report in category, based on sender, classification, or etc.

8. Data secureness

Fortunately, we can set the ID and Password in computer. That means, only authorized people can access the files. Double archive method using CD or DVD also can make the archive secureness highly secured. Because we still have the backup, if the computer being attacked by virus or accidentally deleted.

Electronic Media As Archive Storage

When choose the media as archive storage, we should know well the media we want to choose. These are some medias that can you use as the archive storage.

  1. Magnetic tape, this media is made from magnetic material with thin plastic cover. There are 2 kind of magnetic tape, its reel tape and catridge tape. Reel tape is magnetic tape that can we roll in to circle, while catridge tape only video and audio cassette.
  2. Magnetic disk, this media is a disk-type. There are 2 kind of magnetic disk. Its hard disk as permanent storage, and floppy disk as flexible disk.
  3. Optical disk, this media can contain the data 100 even 1000 times more than the floppy disk. As example, optical disk can be found as CD, DVD, and Blue Ray.

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Device Usage

When use the electronic archive, It’s a must to have the hardware and the software. Two most important things to implement the electronic archive system. At first, we need to analyze the hardware and software before start to archiving.

1. Hardware Selection

There are some category as points to deciding what hardware will be used.

  1. Hardware capability, based on the ease of input, processing speed, storage capacity, output quality.
  2. Hardware endurance, based on level or frequency of process fail technically.
  3. Cost, must calculate the budget we have, maintenance cost, also operation cost.
  4. Flexibility and compatibility, the chosen device must be compatible when connected to other devices. So it wont be a limit to keep do archiving.

2. Software Analyzation

The main purpose to analyzation is to select the right software we will use and give the ease of access. To get the best one, we can see these points at first.

  1. Buy software that has been written or made by a software company. Practically will eat the budget so much because the price isn’t cheap enough
  2. Rent the software used internet. There are some online storage services that can we use as electronic archive. Beside of low cost, it will bring the ease of access to the data without any threat like virus.
  3. Make and develop own app that match to the company needs. The positive value is clearly give the ease for the company. But the negative value is this app need to be worked by professional and computer programmer.

3. Secureness Control

Physical system secureness about digitizing archives process has a purpose to avoid destroying or missing documents. This control can be done by setting the following conditions:

  1. Set the limit to access to the system ( only authorized user ).
  2. Setting the temperature of the computer room to avoid excessive heat, humidity, fire, and other hazards that may occur.
  3. Backup every archive, to anticipate the system failure.
  4. Need to make insurance about the data. By this insurance, the system will continuously work even facing the disaster. Because we already buy the insurance to change the bad device.

The existence of electronic archive can we used to give so many advantages to the users. Because we can find the archive in really short time, high accuracy, also low cost.

Image by: Pixabay

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