Recommendations for Authors and Creators

From UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation
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Overview and Best Practices

Library of Congress guidelines on "How to Preserve Your Own Digital Materials"

Includes instructions on how to scan your personal collections, and information about how long digital storage media last. Specific tips are provided for photographs, audio, video, email, personal digital records and websites.

Additionally, you will find here a video on "Why Digital Preservation is Important for you".

Key points of much of this guidance can be downloaded in a single brochure: "Preserving Your Digital Memories".

Personal Digital Archiving iLibrarian Series"

Based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop on "Personal Digital Archiving," this site features a series of blog posts by Ellyssa Kroski, Manager of Information Systems at the New York Law Institute.

"Guidelines for creators of personal archives"

This practical overview from the Paradigm project (University of Manchester and JISC) includes practical tips, including intellectual property rights and privacy concerns and the benefits of using open source software.

File Formats

"FAQ About Digital Audio and Video Records"

The U. S. National Archives offers advice when selecting a file format for long-term storage. For example:

 "When selecting a format consider the following aspects:
   * The format should be publicly and openly documented.
   * The format is non-proprietary.
   * The format is in widespread use.
   * The format is self-documenting.
   * The format can be opened, read, and accessed using readily-available tools."


International Imaging Industry Association recommendations for digital photos: "Are your memories safe?"

This site provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be considered, and also drills down to specifics, such as how to label, how to back up, what to do in case of hard drive failure, virus attack or camera card failure.

Here are some examples of "Forms of Image Deterioration" from the Image Permanence Institute.

Social Media, Text Messages, Gmail

"Your Digital Afterlife"

Do you use blogs, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media? Here's your options for managing and/or archiving your content there so you can back it up properly.

"Archiving Cell Phone Text Messages"

If you value this type of correspondence... this is worth a read. It's not easy or convenient, but it is possible to capture this content.

"Make a Local Backup of Your Gmail Account"

Backups and storage

"Back Up Your Data!

What to back up, all the ways data can be lost, and why you shouldn't trust the cloud for storage.

"Cloud storage: a pricing and feature guide for consumers"

Dated April 26, 2012, this is a blog post by Casey Johnston to assist those who want to store their content in the cloud.

"2012 Best Online Storage Service Comparisons and Reviews"

Data Recovery

"Recovery Tips"

What to watch for, prepare against, and what your options are... this is offered by a company ("DriveSavers"0 selling their data recovery services.

Columbia University Libraries