Archival Storage

Archival Storage functions are like storage functions that are performed in all kinds of digital storage environments, whether long-term preservation is a goal or not. The difference lies in the added rigor in error checking, media replacement, and disaster recovery.

Archival Storage is the third function where organizational concerns lead. Developing, maintaining, updating, and ensuring the implementation of archival requirements all fall within the scope of organizational concerns. Effective preservation planning cannot be done without the sound management of archival storage.

0101 Technological responsibilities center on receiving material and maintaining the physical bits. Objects are brought into the system and stored. The system is monitored for errors, with media replaced as needed or when superseded. Access to the data and accompanying metadata is provided in response to access requests. Disaster recovery plans are planned and implemented as needed.

$$$$ Archival storage costs can increasingly be estimated by considering the current size of digital assets that fall within your digital preservation scope, the typical or anticipated annual growth, current storage costs, etc. Ensuring adequate redundancy and onsite and offsite storage should be part of the equation. Remember that effective archival storage does not equate to system backup.


Consider the answers to these questions:

  1. Are your digital assets currently stored online, offline, both?
  2. How many copies of your digital objects do you maintain?
  3. Have you established offsite storage for your digital assets?
  4. Do you have a plan in place as your digital objects age and as your digital preservation repository architecture ages?