About the digital archive

Find out about why digital preservation is important and how you can add to the digital archives.

Our Digital Archive

At East Riding Archives, we hold over 150,000 digital files. We store these items in a ‘Digital Archive’, powered by Preservica, a cutting-edge digital preservation software. This allows us to preserve and make our digital archives accessible for future generations.

What is Digital Preservation?

Digital preservation is the ongoing process of ensuring digital items remain accessible for the future by anticipating and responding to changes in digital technology. This requires a proactive approach to tackling new problems. A parchment scroll may be perfectly happy to sit in an environmentally stable strong room for a few hundred years, but a digital image may be in danger of being lost after just a few years!

What is Digital Obsolescence?

Digital archives rely on current technologies to support them but, as technology evolves, some digital material becomes inaccessible due to lack of support for the file format, or the medium on which the material is kept being no longer accessible.

You have probably come across digital obsolescence in your own life, such as a VHS tape of family videos you can no longer play, or you may have been unable to open a file once you updated your software at home.

What does Preservica do?

Just as our physical records are stored in our strong rooms, our digital content is kept safe inside Preservica, ensuring we meet international preservation standards. Preservica prevents data loss and makes multiple copies of the digital files we upload. These include preservation copies, which makes a version of the file in a safer format (such as PDF or TIFF), as well as access copies to view on our Digital Access portal.

Visit The Digital Archive

How can you help?

You can help us preserve digital items for future generations! If you have digital items that you think should be deposited and preserved by East Riding Archives, follow our Digital Deposit Checklist below:

Digital Deposit Checklist:

  • Make sure files and folders are clearly labelled.
  • Prepare a list or short description of what the files contain, and also a list of file formats (if known), such as PDF for documents, TIFF for images etc.
  • If you plan to visit our premises at The Treasure House in Beverley, please have your digital items ready on USB or hard drive, if possible.
  • Complete our donation request form to discuss further and make your appointment.