In the digital era, there is the consensus that knowledge is power. Therefore, preserving heritage documents is not just about honouring the past, it’s also a strategic imperative. Archives and repositories contain our collective memory, much like a time capsule, it holds invaluable insight into our shared history, culture and identity. However, these invaluable assets come with their downside as well; they are fragile and usually have limited to no copies. This, coupled with the growing demand for accessibility and preservation, requires a need for change and a shift toward digitisation. To understand this shift it is important to look through the lens of information management and explore the value of heritage scanning, not just for preserving records of the past, but for guiding what lies ahead.

1.Preservation and Document Fragility

Physical documents and archives are perishable, actively deteriorating over time. Factors such as environment, handling and the natural aging of the materials contribute to the deterioration of archives. When an archive is preserved by means of digitisation, a solution is made to combat the issues that come with fragile documents. Digitisation offers high quality copies that can be accessed without needing to handle the original documents. By digitising archives, you are not only preserving history, but also ensuring the original documents stay as intact as possible while still remaining accessible.

2. Increased Accessibility

Increased accessibility is a significant benefit when digitising archives. Digital archives reach beyond borders, granting access to historians and researchers, but also the general public. This access of information fosters inclusivity and allows room for broader audiences to interact with historical documents, regardless of their geographical location.

3. Risk Mitigation

Natural disaster or manmade, the event poses the same threat to physical archives. Earthquakes, fires, floods, or theft can result in irreparable damage. Digitisation serves as an insurance against these kinds of risks by creating multiple copies that may be dispersed securely over various locations. In the face of any disaster, digitisation ensures an intact quality digital back-up that allows for swift recovery and restoration efforts.

4. Enhanced Searchability

Manual archival research can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process. Digitised archives, on the other hand, offer powerful search and indexing capabilities, allowing users to quickly locate relevant information with just a few clicks. Furthermore, advanced technologies such as optical character recognition (OCR) enable full-text search, making it easier to uncover hidden gems within vast archival collections.

5. Long Term Cost Savings

Although a major digitisation project may seem like a large initial expense, there are significant long-term cost benefits as compared to the continuing costs of maintaining and preserving physical archives. Digital repositories require minimal physical space, cost less to handle and preserve, and can be easily scaled and updated as technology develops.

6. Facilitating Research (if digitisation project is made accessible to public/scholars)

Digitisation also empowers researchers and scholars with easy access to resources they may need. This open access thrusts the pace of research forward while also fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. Digital archives encourage the discovery of new interpretations, and narratives, while enriching our understanding of the past and informing critical discourse in the present.

In sum, the digitisation of archives is not only a technological endeavour but also a strategic one, that enables you to safeguard historical documents. Harnessing the power of information management can preserve the past, empower the present and inspire the future. In a world that is increasingly digital, the notion to digitise documents is not only about document preservation; it’s about preserving history and ensuring that invaluable information remains accessible for those now and in the future. If you would like to start your information management journey, please contact us today and one of our team members will offer a solution that caters to your needs.

< Back to news & blog