Archiving Digital Records

Digital archiving is the process of collecting records in a digital environment. Records may include drawing documentation, specifications, reports, email correspondence and photographs, and may be stored in a range of file types.


The key challenges associated with archiving born digital architectural records include

• The rationale for collecting records produced in a digital environment.
• Which records to archive.
• How to archive them.
• How to achieve digital continuity in rapidly evolving and changing electronic environments.

unisa architecture museumNATSPEC supported the University of South Australia Architecture Museum for further research into current digital archiving practices and the preparation of a draft national Australian framework for archiving digital architectural records. 

The scope of the Towards a National Framework Project included:

  • A scoping literature review and online questionnaire focussed on the identified challenges.
  • A draft framework for archiving born digital architectural records. The framework is intended to be usable for digital architectural records and transferrable to other disciplinary categories, e.g. in building and construction and engineering.


The National Framework Trial aimed to test an approach:

  • Introducing and disseminating the key messages and recommendations contained in the Archiving digital architectural records: towards a national framework project report.
  • Providing introductory training in the preservation of digital architectural records.

NATSPEC is pleased to host the following modules, developed as an introduction to digital archiving of architectural records.

Training Module 1: Introduction
Training Module 2: File validation using checksums
Training Module 3: Digital archival file management
Training Module 4: Retention and disposal guidelines


TECHnote GEN 030: Digital Archiving discusses requirements for successful long-term storage of, and access to, digital archival records.
TECHnote GEN 031: Digital Archiving Glossary is a glossary of digital archiving-related terms.
TECHnote GEN 032: File Naming and Project Folder Structure discusses the benefits of well-considered digital file management and outlines the principles of file and project folder naming and folder structure.

TeraCopy is a ‘freemium’ file copying utility (free for non-commercial use) that enables easy generation and checking of fixity information for any directory structure. TeraCopy installation instructions.