Stones of Remembrance: Preserving Church Heritage in an Electronic World, Part 2

Stones of Remembrance:  Preserving Church Heritage in an Electronic World, Part 2

When a church decides to preserve its records, the first step will be to assign someone responsibility for organizing the material, investigating the cost and deciding which method to use.  There are advantages and disadvantages to every process. One option is to make print duplicates but this depends on the quality of the duplication and paper used.  Stored duplicates take a lot of space so for many, the question is whether to microfilm or digitize. 

Microfilm:

  • Advantages:

      1. actual image of the original

      2. film expected to last 500 years

      3. saves space

      4. easy to maintain

      5. converts to digital format           

  • Disadvantages:

      1. limited access to microfilm readers (normally at libraries and archives)

      2. Images vary in quality

      3. requires extensive research to find items

         

Digitization:

  • Advantages:

      1. easily accessible through computers or internet

      2. images can be enhanced

      3. enables keyword searches

      4. easy back-up and storage

  • Disadvantages:

      1. keeping up to date with changes in technology

      2. scanning can be laborious and slow

      3. lack of consistent standards for digitized records

Additionally, churches should preserve the material that is created on and for the web.  Audio and video recordings are part of the archive as well.    It all tells the story of your church’s efforts to share the story of Jesus.  Future generations should know how God worked through your church.   For assistance, contact SCBC Historical Services, 803 765-0030.