Building an archive of your precious memories or legacy business history takes time and resources, and not everybody can spend the effort. Many of us have actually done it the old way, filing documents in binders or organizing photographs in photo albums, all with stickers and dividers, stored on shelves or in boxes with more stickers and dividers. But without thorough indexing which can be only partial when done manually – you don’t have the tools to search for a specific document or photograph filed in a physical media, nor the possibility to use it straight away, like finding and copying a citation into a working project or presenting a slide show of a 30 years old journey to friends and family. Even if you did manage to find that specific document using your memory alone, you still need physical access to it and certainly can not use them while anywhere in the world.


Digitizing: The first step in most archiving projects is scanning or recording – making a digital (computer) copy of the original document, music or video. This can be done, in the case of printed documents or photographs, with a simple home scanner (a small digital copy machine) connected to a compute. The result is a raw computer file that can be be sent to us for processing. Similar if a bit more complicated, is the process of making a digital copy of music or video clips.


Processing: The raw files collected in the scanning or recording phase need to be processed to become searchable and usable. Text needs OCR (Optical character recognition) to concert the computer “photograph” of the document to an electronic document such as a Word of PDF file, and to reconstruct the original layout when needed. A more economical approach may be filing the scans and archiving their description (keywords, names, any associated info) and location only.


Data entry: This is the organizing or “indexing” phase where all the processed data is indexed and and put into a computer database, in a format that allows searching for content in many different ways. The data is put into database fields and tables and relations are defined between the different bits of information, so that they are”mapped” in a way that is ready to answer any kind of request coming from the user interface, or DBMS – the software that manages the database.


Usage: Once all data was archived, we construct a user interface, or “front end” – a DBMS based computer program that gives you access to every bit of information put into the system, including data you’d want to add later. This is an easy to use program which you open by clicking an icon on your computer, which knows where everything is, and can find any bit of information stored according to the search terms, tags or keywords you type into the system.

If you have archived material that you can’t use on today’s computers due to obsolescence and still would like to, then you’re probably half way there. You want to consider migration or emulation of your old data and business rules. These are relatively simple tasks, and everything is explained on this site in simple and clear words.

To learn more about the services we offer, use the menu on the top of this page, or contact us.

See also: Digitizing, Processing, Data entry, Usage

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