The Archival Concierge  
The Archival Concierge posts ideas, concerns and  suggestions regarding heirloom  preservation. Please visit the site periodically to see what news The Archival Concierge might offer you!

                                     Take control of your digital life! 

Don’t be a victim of digital dependence! The Archival Concierge believes that, even in our high tech world, albums remain the most reliable and elegant way to conserve precious photos and memories.  In partnership with albums, technology can provide solutions for storing files and sharing photos with others.


No system, online or offline, is completely fool proof. At the blink of an eye, files stored online have been known to disappear. Who doesn’t know people who depended exclusively on the hard drive of their computers or one lone flash drive to safeguard their cherished photos, family documents, and important data? When the system crashed, they were crushed. 

Back up your digital records!

The Archival Concierge strongly recommends that -- because storage devices can become corrupted, compromised or completely destroyed – you should back up your digital records in no fewer than three manners and locations.  By backing up your files in several ways, you will always be able to retrieve what you need if one should fail. You might even consider keeping a storage device off premises in a secure location, such as a bank safe deposit box.  Moreover, because storage devices have a limited shelf life (despite claims made by companies regarding the longevity of their products), it is important to transfer files at least every two to three years.  Keep your files saved on the most current storage devices to avoid the risk of not being able to access your files because your technology has become obsolete!

Examples of storage devices:

Computer Hard Drive:  Perhaps the most convenient storage method, but the more files you store in your computer, the slower it will run.

External Hard Drive:  Great way to maintain a maximum amount of file storage without cluttering up your computer’s hard drive

Flash drives:  Portable file storage that easily allows you to delete and add files.
CDs & DVDs: Great portable way to store files. Choose “archival gold” – they give a much longer shelf life than general CDs and DVDs. On a separate note:  use only solvent free markers to label CDs.


Online file backup


If you choose internet based file services, be certain to follow the previous suggestions for creating backups of your data BEFORE uploading any of your files to their servers.

Do your research to be sure that the company you are considering is legitimate. Once your files are in their possession, you are depending on them to safeguard your cherished files. Keep in mind that even legitimate companies can suddenly go out of business or fall prey to computer glitches and crashes that are beyond their control. Quirky things can happen and files can get lost - never to be seen again. Whether it is a few files or your entire inventory, the loss of your important data can be absolutely devastating.


If you use an online company for storing and printing your photos, keep in mind that some of these entities do not allow you to retrieve your files or create prints from other companies. This is yet another reason to be sure you have a backup of your files available offline before uploading to these sites.


Take control of the future of your archives!


Final thoughts!


The Archival Concierge strongly believes that the most enjoyable method of archiving your photos, family documents and keepsakes is in a real album. The tactile experience an album offers brings memories to life in a very intimate and meaningful way that cannot be experienced via computer or television screen. With an actual album, you are not dependent on technology to safeguard your treasures. An album puts you in control and provides you with a treasured possession that can be enjoyed for years to come!