I have a task coming up to preserve and protect all the archive material collected by our local Historical Society. I have some ideas about this, but I am open to suggestions, especially ones from experts in the field. Or even wanna-be experts.
Our material consists of photographs, clippings, handwritten notes, audio recordings and video recordings in cassette, CD, DVD and other digital media. We may add some books.
It seems to me that the goals of this project are (1) preserving and (2) making material easily available and findable.
Preserving: [ol][li]Keeping items in multiple formatsConverting to newer formats and storage if/when applicableRetaining old formats and originals if possibleUsing high-quality conversion techniques if practicalStoring in multiple locations for safety[/ol][/li]
Making material easily findable:[ol][li]Cross-indexing key words, dates, and names to the maximumConverting or tagging non-text images with text for searching[/ol][/li]
I envision a master database/catalog.
I would rather avoid a proprietary specialty program, as this will be the first to become obsolete. A generic spreadsheet or database manager is much more likely to be around and readable in the long-term or even short-term. I might make an exception for family tree software, but this will not be the master database, just another sub-category.
Any ideas or comments? Pitfalls to avoid?