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Digital Images

Photo courtesy of Kellan Elliott-McCrea

Long-term storage and preservation of your digital photos is not as simple as placing them in one location and leaving them until you need them again. You must take an active role in the management and storage of digital images in order to give them the best chance for long-term preservation.

Archiving tips

Select your important files:

Organize your files:

Save files in formats that are optimal for long-term preservation:

Choosing the appropriate format can be a critical part of preservation. Some formats cast away bits of information as part of the creation and compression process. Here are the most common formats with some advantages and disadvantages. The most widely accepted archival formats are marked with an asterisk:

Make copies and manage them in different places:

Long-term storage is a key element in preserving digital images. It is important to realize that no storage medium is permanent in the digital environment. Any storage medium used will require some maintenance to keep its contents viable for the longest period possible.

Currently the most common media used for long-term storage are:

Check files and refresh storage media on a regular basis:

Migrate files to newer formats if needed:


Last Edited: 11 December 2014