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ARMA Resources on Archiving

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Archiving Defined

Archiving is the process of transferring information objects and artifacts including their metadata for long-term preservation and access. Archived Information may have heritage or historical value or may be required long-term for governance, regulatory compliance, legal protection, and defense, as well as operational needs.

ARMA Guide to the Information Profession

Definitive ARMA Resources

 The Principles®

The PrinciplesThe Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® (Principles) constitute a generally accepted global standard that identifies the critical hallmarks and a high-level framework of good practices for information governance – defined by ARMA International as a “strategic, cross-disciplinary framework composed of standards, processes, roles, and metrics that hold organizations and individuals accountable for the proper handling of information assets. Information governance helps organizations achieve business objectives, facilitates compliance with external requirements, and minimizes risk posed by sub-standard information-handling practices. Note: Information management is an essential building block of an information governance program.”

Developed and published by ARMA International, the Principles are grounded in practical experience and based on extensive consideration and analysis of legal doctrine and information theory. They are meant to provide organizations, of all sizes, sectors, industry types, and geographic boundaries, with both a standard of conduct for governing information and guidelines by which to judge that conduct.

For a one-page summary of ARMA's Principles, click here.

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Archiving Key Points

  1. Archiving is focused on information and artifacts requiring continued authenticity, usability, and integrity over successive generations of custodians and technologies.
  2. An Archive is an institution or repository that has accepted responsibility for the preservation and management of long-term information assets.
  3. Certified professional archivists and librarians typically perform duties associated with the appraisal, organization, description, accessioning, preservation of and access to physical and digital materials deemed to have long-term or permanent retention value.
  4. Archives exist at all levels in the public sector - federal/national, state and provincial and local government - as well as in corporations, religious institutions, non-governmental (NGO) and not-for-profit organizations, cultural heritage institutions, and private collections.
  5. Terminology: Archiving refers to the discipline; Archives refers to the storage location; Archivist refers to the individual.
  6. “Archiving” and “Archives” as used here differs from a common use of these terms in IT operations, where it is frequently used a synonym of “backup”. In this IT context, the terms refer to a temporary copy of sets of data created and kept outside the primary system/database for purposes of recovery and continued functionality in event of a system failure or unintended loss/deletion of the data.

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