What is archiving?

Archiving is nothing more than safely storing everything you have collected to tell your story. Unlike your final story, your personal archive includes all notes that you took, all photos, audio or video recordings, etc. A good archive is well organized and easily accessible to other people (such as your family members, your friends, or anyone with whom you want to share your work!).

Why create an archive?

What you are doing is important and contributes to documenting history and cultural heritage! Creating an archive of your work will allow you to share your work with others now and in the future, like a time capsule!


Sound recordings often serve as valuable resources for collecting and sharing stories, and there are special considerations for archiving audio. The following webinars were created as part of the Warm Springs Sound Archives Preservation Project to provide guidance on how to assess and manage sound recordings:


Do you have a collection of physical family photographs that you want to preserve for your family and future generations? Check out our new Family Photo Archiving Guide for step-by-step recommendations and examples.

Home Archiving

Professional archivists work at organizations across the globe to document and preserve the past. You can archive your own personal, family, and community history by following these general steps:

  1.  Assess your collection. What types of materials do you want to preserve? Paper? Photographs or other media? Digital materials? See below for more archiving resources to help you determine where to start.
  2.  Organize your collection. You will want to organize your materials in a way that makes sense to you, whether it’s by format, year, person’s name, topic, place, or other themes. How will you and potential future users be looking for information? Keep a record of how and where to find materials.
  3.  Store your materials safely. Make sure you store your materials in a cool, dry, location away from direct light exposure. Guidelines for storing paper-based items can generally apply to other types of physical objects.

more archiving resources

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