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Digital Archives: Digital Archives

For Consultations ...

Benn Joseph
Manuscript Librarian
Northwestern University Archives,
McCormick Library of Special Collections
Northwestern University Library


Nicole Finzer
Visual Resources Librarian
Digital Collections,
Library Technology Division
Northwestern University Library

Digital Archives

Digital archiving is the act of saving and storing digital objects in sustainable formats for backup and future use. At Northwestern University Library, institutional websites and digital collections are archived and preserved by trained professionals following various sets of best practices. However, this guide outlines how any user can best archive various forms of digital objects from a simple text document to an entire Facebook account. 

 The following recommendations may not be feasible for all readers of this guide; the ideal level of preservation is whatever the reader is able to attain, and this guide can be used as a metric to get the reader as close as possible to that ideal level.



For scholars, researchers, and authors looking for information on self-archiving scholarly publications, please visit our Guide to Scholarly Communication



This guide offers recommendations on how best to save your digital content and which file formats to use for optimal sustainability. However, having the space to store files is also crucial, and, often times, it is a best practice to keep multiple copies of files in different places. Along with computer and external harddrive storage, there are also many cloud-based syncing and storage options available, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and SpiderOak. Additionally, Northwestern University faculty have access to Depot


Saving & Archiving

Audio & Video







Social Media


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