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Check Your Tech: How Our Technology Maximizes the Value of Your Company’s Archives Program

February 21, 2022 • History Factory

You’ve probably learned the hard way about having the right tools for the job. Whether it’s carrying a set of jumper cables in your trunk after being stranded with a dead battery or bringing extra snacks for the family road trip — you’ve lived and learned.

When it comes to an efficient archives system, we’ll spare you from learning the hard way: The right tools matter. Especially your tech.

Your archives program is a treasure trove of highly valuable, incredibly useful information that’s worthy of the best preservation methods available. Trusting it to a rag-tag team of Dropbox, personal hard drives and filing cabinets doesn’t do it justice. (And you know it.)

Add today’s top-notch tech to your archives toolbelt, and you’ll never have to know what “learning the hard way” is.

Why Does Your Company Archives System Need the Right Technology?

We know what you’re thinking. You’ve probably hobbled along with some iteration of a tech stack for your company’s archives for years. And It’s worked … so far. Maybe it’s a little cumbersome, and OK, you can’t find what you’re looking for every time. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Snap out of it. You and your assets deserve better.

An archives is a living, breathing thing that needs the support of the right tools and tech in order to thrive.

You want your archives system to be supported by the right technology for three main reasons.

1. You need to know what and where your valuable assets are.

If you don’t know what is in your archives or where your items are located, it’s pretty much useless. You need to know what you have and where it’s all stored. Enter: technology. Just as every book in the library has a sticker on its spine, every one of your assets needs an identifying number that allows the archivists to track it.

But those identifying numbers don’t just point you to somewhere in space. They tell you exactly where the item sits within a logical hierarchy. With tracking functionality, you can find the assets you’re looking for and retrieve them with ease. It’s really that simple.

2. You need to manage and access your digital and analog assets.

You have priceless born-digital assets and decades-old physical materials in your archives. You need a system that marries managing and accessing both formats in one spot. Archives, by nature, span decades; some span hundreds of years. That means you have to care for material of all kinds: items that only exist on paper; material that has been migrated from paper to digital through digitization processes; and content that exists only in digital formats because that’s how it was created and it was never converted to hard copy.

You need a tool that not only allows you access to your digital and physical assets alike in one logical, hierarchical system.

3. You need to be able to search for your assets.

Budgets, financials, accounting, annual reports. You and your colleagues may use different words or phrases to search for something in your archives. Without a standardized vocabulary, you could get wildly different results. The right technology enables archivists to create and maintain lists of preferred terms, ensuring that terms are used consistently throughout the catalog. This curated vocabulary collection is key to keeping your assets organized and searchable, time after time.

It’s simple. The right technology enables your company’s data, artifacts, and pieces of lore to be highly findable and easily accessible in a remarkably efficient way.

If Your Archival Technology Isn’t Doing These Two Functions, Forget It

First of all, your archives are a thing of beauty. The technology tied to it should shine a light on it, not hide it away.

This is what the right archival technology looks like.

  1. It puts you in the driver’s seat. You may be used to calling your archivist with a reference request, then waiting for the archivist to search for it and produce what you’re looking for. Instead, you should invest in technology that allows you to be in control of the searching and retrieving. And if you want your archivist to hunt and gather for you, you should have that option as well.
  2. It operates on one seamless platform. The information inherent in each resource is an asset in and of itself. That means it should be treated as separate from the material that it provides the access to. Past archives access tools (think card catalogs and written guides and inventories) should also migrate to the digital format so they can continue to be useful and valuable.But this takes time and human power to make happen. And it can disrupt your experience if you’re working in two different systems that don’t talk to each other without an archivist manually inputting the information and manually migrating it to the other system.What you need is an integrated system that allows the archivist to do their work behind the scenes while you explore and access your assets. Such a platform exists. And it makes your experience far more agile, delivering more value every time you use it.

The One-Two Punch of Purpose-Built Technology and Professional Archivists

Technology is always going to change. History Factory has known this from the get-go. We haven’t let it stymie us. Instead, we’ve always gone all-in on the current capabilities and the needs of the marketplace at the time.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing now with our new platform.

Today, we are leveraging the most advanced technology that supports your needs with an interface that is speedy, intuitive and simple. All you see is the content you need to see in a sleek, organized structure that makes sense of it all.

You are in control of exploring and accessing your company’s assets — both analog and digital — all in one place. If you need an archivist’s expertise, they’re at the ready. But mostly, they’re in the background making sure that all your assets are highly visible and ready to use at any moment. (Archivists are kind of awesome like that.)

Speaking of archivists, none of this technology would even know what to do if not for the archivists who work behind the scenes. The tech, game changing as it is, is merely an extension of what an archivist does:

  • Controlling the vocabulary
  • Tracking assets
  • Keeping assets secure
  • Structuring and formatting
  • Recording hyper-specific metadata

History Factory’s mix of today’s top-notch technology and archivists with a keen business sense is a winning combination.

They work in lockstep to illuminate your company’s rich heritage through its archives material. That’s something you can’t get from a patchwork of Adobe Enterprise and Google Drive.

If you’re heading down the road of ill-fitting technology (or a total lack of archivists), get in touch. We’ll hook you up with the solution you should have had a long time ago.

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