Strong record-keeping and digital preservation practices are central to good information management and for securing the cultural heritage of businesses regardless of their size. Through the survey undertaken as part of our Records at Risk project, however, we found that there is little existing guidance on digital records preservation which is aimed specifically towards small companies. To address this, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) have published a guidance document commissioned by the Archives and Records Council Wales which outlines best practices for small organisations and assists them to implement their first steps towards digital preservation.
The document includes a ten-step introduction on how small businesses can begin implementing digital preservation best practices, including:
- records retention;
- file naming and organisation;
- preservation documentation;
- file formats and storage;
- cybersecurity; and
- planning for long-term preservation.
The guidance also outlines the significance of digital records-keeping and some of the misconceptions surrounding digital preservation practices. It is available in Welsh and English and is aimed towards small businesses which do not have a preservation policy in place, and which may not employ IT or information professionals. The document is published under an Open Government Licence and we encourage its circulation among any small businesses within the communities you serve. We would like to thank the Digital Preservation Coalition for authoring this guidance and The National Archives Covid-19 Archives Fund which enabled its publication.