At some point in the first century BC, Roman soldiers set fire to ships at the port of Alexandria. The flames spread to other parts of the city, including the storied library. According to some ancient writings, the fire resulted in the loss of 40,000 scrolls.
It is, perhaps, the most well-known example of the failure of old-school archival systems. Of course, archive preservation has changed a lot over the past two centuries — and even more in the past few decades.
Archival processes now involve high-tech equipment. Technology has transformed recordkeeping, reinforcing data longevity against the forces of nature and providing numerous benefits to archivists that professionals just a decade ago didn't have.
Advancements in Archival Technology
People have kept records for centuries. Early humans recorded the animals and events of their world on cave walls and then stone tablets. Over time, recordkeeping moved to ink and paper. In the 20th century, it went digital for the first time.
Now, in the 21st century, archivists face a number of unique challenges. An increasing number of historical documents are being recovered — all while humanity as a whole is creating new documents and data at never-before-seen levels.
To keep up with the demand for archiving and to ensure records are as accessible and secure as possible, modernization and technological integration is critical for archival processes. From converting massive paper archives to digital via smart scanning and OCR processes to transforming film and fiche records into searchable data image and text archives, technology serves to make data more readily available to everyone.
In the last 2 years, the world generated 90% of the data created in all of history. Currently, humanity is generating around 23% more data every year than the year before.
Modern archivists face the challenge of streamlining their processes so they can continue to convert old data formats while keeping pace with new document and data requirements.
Introducing ScanPro®: Revolutionizing Recordkeeping
One specific challenge for modern archivists is converting traditional records into digital documents that can be secured in the cloud, tagged and categorized, and even searched via the same types of queries used in Google. For example, traditional microfilm is difficult to sort through and requires special equipment to view.
But ScanPro revolutionizes recordkeeping by allowing archivists to quickly convert film, fiche, and other archival formats into paper or digital documents.
Digital preservation is a key method of ensuring that all types of documents, including historically significant artifacts, are preserved for generations. Beyond preserving documents, digital preservation also ensures that historical accuracy is maintained. For the general public, including historians, archivists, students and educators, digitization makes these documents more widely available and easily accessible.
Benefits of ScanPro® Products in Recordkeeping
On top of helping archivists save data from potentially disastrous ends, ScanPro enhances productivity. Here are just a few ways the cutting-edge features of ScanPro help streamline archival processes:
- Efficient scanning at scale. PRECISION-Guide rollers make it easy to accurately place and feed film every time you scan. The ability to move from image to image with a click and automatically scan film or image ranges helps archival teams to convert film faster.
- Production of searchable formats. You can easily print single images and documents or save them to USB files or other digital sources. OCR technology helps create searchable formats, making it easier for archive teams to find information, sort and categorize documents, or otherwise manage large repositories.
- Preservation of delicate and aging documents. High-performance cameras and sensors larger than those used by any other manufacturer make it possible to capture and scan all types of documents. Delicate and aging film, fiche, and other archival materials can be converted into lasting digital documents that are preserved for the ages.
- Creation of high-quality digital images. The pixel-shifting camera and other technology features ensure incredibly detailed, high-quality images. The results can make archival and research tasks faster and easier because the information in the documents is more accessible and legible.
The Ever-Changing Nature of Archiving
Archivists may be concerned with the documents of the past, but they must use the technology of tomorrow to capture history and safeguard it for the next generation. Technological advancements have created faster, more secure, and more accessible archival processes. At the same time, products such as ScanPro keep traditional methods like microfilm relevant even in the digital age.
By embracing innovation, archivists can ensure the accessibility and longevity of historical records. ScanPro helps teams protect critical information on microfilm, so it doesn't go the way of the scrolls at Alexandria.