Many County Records Centers and Archives face the challenges of modest budgets and limited staff. Oftentimes, we have to prioritize projects and rely on volunteers for additional help. Planning is a must but frequently in a small office, plans change and staff need to be able to communicate with one another and adapt to changes in plans.
For a number of years, we at the Greene County Records Center and Archives were aware that we would need to acquire a digital preservation system for the growing number of permanent/long-term County digital records. Priorities and a limited budget prolonged tackling this issue. In 2021, we began speaking with and surveying many of the County Offices/Departments regarding the direction they were going with their records. We found that Offices/Departments were either completely going digital for their records or were doing a hybrid approach – paper and electronic. We also learned that the County’s Offices/Departments’ in-house data management systems, were no longer going to be supported by the County’s IT Department. We knew that we needed to act soon for providing an alternative for these Offices/Departments.
We researched the best digital preservation systems and found that Preservica met all of our needs. Below are the following points that sold us on Preservica.
- Digital preservation system that preserves long-term/permanent records
- Addresses hardware and software obsolescence through migrations
- Protects digital records from degradation/corruption of formats by monitoring the fixity of records
- Converts records to open formats based on archival standards
- Secure/Controlled digital environment – backed up on five different Cloud servers around the world multiple times
- 24/7 monitoring
- Encryption of all files
- Can add metadata to make records searchable
- User Security Settings
- Public User – public records
- Internal User – Public and Confidential records
- Internal Administrative User – Public and Confidential records
- Cannot accidentally or intentionally delete records without the action being reviewed by County Records Manager. County Records Manager can deny a deletion request if the Office /Department has not signed off on an RC-3 or if the records do not meet the retention schedule.
Purchasing Preservica was just the tip of the iceberg. There were many challenges and lessons learned along our year journey of implementing Preservica. These challenges and lessons learned will be documented in a tip sheet and will be available later this year.
Greene County Records Center and Archives