What is so special about 10/10? Well it looks a lot like 1010 (or 10 in binary). But mostly its special because today is Electronic Records Day!
On the off chance you hadn’t noticed, our world is becoming increasingly more digital, and this includes the records and documents we all create in the course of our day.
As we lead more of our lives online, rather than on paper, the historical record itself is seeing a shift in format. Stacks of personal letters are giving way to emails, texts and tweets. Boxes of negatives and prints are transforming into stacks of CD, SD cards, external drives, and seemingly endless folders of digital photos on our computers, phones and in our “clouds”. Tax records, bank statements, school report cards, and even utility bills are all available online now as companies push cost- and clutter-saving “paperless” programs.
But regardless of format, the question remains: what do you keep, for how long and how do you ensure its survival. The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and archives around the country are joining together to raise awareness of the importance of caring for your digital records.
As with your traditional paper documents, not all digital records are worth their bytes. And just because you can find it using a search bar does not mean that it is easily accessible. Would your family know where to start looking for the important stuff or would they have to wade through TBs of junk? This also means that the “historical” records of to day will most likely take up more bytes than shelf space, so the more we learn now about proper electronic records management, the better prepared we will all be to care for this brave new world of historical documents.
Learn more about personal electronic records management at:
- Preserving Your Digital Memories from the Library of Congress
- Personal E-Records Tips from CoSA
- More information about 2015 Electronic Records Day from CoSA.