Setting up a Database and Data Entry

The heart of digital archiving is the phase of filing data files in various media formats into a coherent database system which allows immediate search and access to any piece of data archived (text documents, images, audio or video). Digital archiving requires the preliminary steps of digitizing and processing as described in these pages.

We usually use the term Archiving to describe the following two steps:

  1. Designing and setting up the database filing and indexing system – the engine that includes a user interface and sets of logic and relation rules that will control entering the data.
  2. Using that system to load or enter the data into the database. This part should be self explanatory, and need no technical knowledge to accomplish once the user interface is in place.

Archiving can be done by inclusion, where the whole document contents are loaded into the database, making in possible to locate a document based on any combination of terms it contains, or by reference, where only information ABOUT the media and it’s location on disc is stored in the database. This type usually fits non textual media such as images, audio or video, but also large text items such as books. Here too there’s a tagging process not unlike book indexing which is the base for later locating specific media items.

archive-text Archiving by inclusion: Text data is entered into the database system by copying or importing the edited files. Some tagging and description may be needed to determine basic attributes of the data. There are various automated import tasks that can be done through the use of the database’s scripting or programming capabilities.

May need: Text import, listing and tagging.

Services: All the above. Customer’s input and participation is usually crucial at this stage.

archive-others Archiving by reference: Images, audio and video files are usually bigger than the average text file, and there’s no sense in loading them into a database, although possible technically. There’s no practical way to search the content of these files, and they are stored on the computer’s file system in a consistent manner which can be followed by the database management system for later additions to the archives. A system of tagging with key words and description is then applied into the database.

May need: Creating a tagging system, listing and tagging.

Services: All the above. Customer’s input and participation is usually crucial at this stage.

See also: Archiving, Digitizing, Processing, Usage

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