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Bring order out of chaos

A successful archives program keeps historical material and inactive records well organized, preserved, and described for easy access and use. Whether public or private, your archives serves as a vital resource for collective memory. However, just keeping up with the volume of information generated every day can be overwhelming.

We can help. If you need to develop or improve your archival program, we have experience addressing a wide range of challenges—from establishing an archives for the Department of Homeland Security to assessing a digital archives collection for the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies. Big or small; complex or simple; analog, digital, or hybrid—we will roll up our sleeves and deliver the best, cost-effective solution that works for you.

Our professionals bring flexibility, talent, and a spirit of cooperation to their work. They all are professionally trained in archives or library science and most are Certified Archivists. Our digital archives team is led by a leading expert on the long-term preservation and access of electronic information. We can also call upon our staff of museum professionals who have expertise managing fine art and historical objects that are often part of a collection.

Archival Services include:

Archival Assessments

Identify gaps in your current program, address immediate needs, and receive prioritized recommendations for future activities to ensure a successful ongoing archival program.

Archival Program Planning

Develop a formal collection policy that codifies management practices, guides decision-making, and promotes programmatic stability and viability.

Archival Processing

Ensure that materials are preserved and readily accessible through arrangement, removal of duplicate material, identifying restrictions to access, physical rehousing, and description. For digital materials, generate fixity values, identify file formats, and conduct virus checks.

Archival Management

Establish policies and procedures for maintaining the proper archival storage conditions for a wide range of material types, including hard copy and digital materials.

Archival Support

Train staff, update procedural documents, or receive hands-on assistance for regular processing, maintenance, and management of your material.

Frequently Asked Questions About Archives

Why is it important to keep archives?
It is important to keep archives in order to preserve a collective memory. Archives include irreplaceable assets, such as photos, memos, design documents and product samples. Government agencies, cultural institutions and universities preserve original source materials that are essential for researchers. Many corporations maintain archives to adhere to regulatory requirements, but they also serve as a marketing a PR tool. Others maintain functioning corporate archives as a resource for leadership and staff, enabling them to learn from the past and help build a vision for the future.
What is the purpose of an archive?
The purpose of an archive is to preserve important organizational information. A properly managed corporate archival program can contribute to a sound risk management program, reduce operating costs by making access to information more efficient, showcase company achievements, produce revenue through third-party licensing programs and provide valuable content for marketing and public relations activities. For universities, government agencies and cultural institutions, archives play an essential role in preserving our collective history, providing original historical materials for researchers.
What does an archivist do?
Archivists are responsible for managing collections of historical information. Unlike a library of books, an archive contains collections of original source material, such as documents, manuscripts, photographs, letters, recordings, and other historical information. An archivist will organize and arrange this material into a coherent order. Archivists will also develop guides, called finding aids, to identify items within the collection and make them easily accessible to researchers.
What is digital archiving and preservation?
Digital archiving and preservation involves determining what information should be saved for the long term, and then backing up and preserving those files that will require ongoing or future access. Digital information is very fragile, and is susceptible to file corruption, degradation of storage media and obsolescence of hardware and software.
What are digital archiving best practices?
Adhering to digital archiving best practices will help you prevent data loss. Digital archivists recommend that you transfer files from external storage media (e.g. CDs, 3.5” floppy disks and USB flash drives) to more stable and reliable storage systems. It’s important to determine what type of storage system to use (e.g. cloud drive, hard disk drives, solid disk drives, cloud storage, and magnetic tape) and to always maintain two complete copies of the archived files on different media. If possible, the two copies should be maintained in two different geographic locations.

For more detail on how we’ve solved problems for federal, state, and local government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit institutions, explore our case stories. Or call us at (301) 279-9697 or contact History Associates to discuss your archives project.

Summary
Service Type
Archives
Provider Name
History Associates Inc.,
300 N. Stonestreet Avenue,Rockville,MD-20850,
Telephone No.301-279-9697
Area
United States
Description
History Associates offers trusted, comprehensive business archives services to government and private sector organizations.
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