Document archiving, either physical or digital, is a popular trend in the business world. Initially, it was only libraries who kept archives, but today commercial businesses, government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations and religious organizations, all maintain archives of their documents.
Usually the type of documents contained in an archive depends on the type of organization maintaining them. While government agencies keep archives of their history, universities maintain archives of their research, and businesses keep archives of their financial transactions. Companies who are a part of the legal, medical, or financial sector have to maintain archives of extensive records.
What are physical archives?
Physical archives usually refer to the process of archiving paper documents. However, archiving important information like forms, medical records, legal documents, customer files, or conference papers in paper may not be a good idea. Paper cannot be stored over a long period and things like moisture, mildew, mould, or improper handling can all ruin your important data.
There is no guarantee that paper can even survive for a short time period. Because of the short life of paper, microforms (microfilm and microfiche) were invented in the eighties. Microforms are more durable than paper, but because of their small size, they can be easily damaged. Another disadvantage of using microforms is that they require bulky equipment to view the information.