Now you've started your digital archive, remember to back it up. Use online storage or a separate hard drive stored in another location from the main PC to give yourself the best chance of not losing anything.
It's wise to think about what would happen to your archive should anything happen to you. Closed storage isn't forever, and if nobody knows it's there, who will find it? Consider trusting a partner or close friend with details of where and how the photographs are stored.
Another option is to include it as part of your will. It all sounds very morbid, but you want your archive to continue and be built upon for as long as possible.
‘I think it's very important because you want a custodian, not just for this generation but for future generations. We get all kinds of things donated, in various formats and the task that we've got now is to actually document these as we receive them and put them in kind of form to access for future generations.’ – Norman Kirtlan, Sunderland Antiquarian Society
Share Your Archival Images Online
There's not much point in documenting history if it's not shared, enjoyed and built upon by others. Consider sharing your images with local history groups, the local newspaper's history section or even a community via Facebook or Twitter.
Some of the most popular Facebook pages I know are ones where they share old pictures of the town and everyone can chip in with comments, saying they remember when it looked that way or that their dad worked at a particular place. It's a fantastic way to bring a community together, and being the one to orchestrate that can be a great feeling.
‘I think what we’re beginning to realise is that these things are of value. Put them onto a page on Facebook, because once they're out there, people will download them and then there are dozens and dozens of copies of the same photograph, so there's always a record of it.’ - Norman
If you're going to share your actual prints, then as I talked about in an earlier tutorial, remember to use safe photo albums that are acid-free and magnet free. Never mount your pictures on anything or stick them up in direct sunlight. Ideally, don't use your originals at all—make copies.
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