Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This research examined the trend of digitizing archives and the problems digitization causes. A textual analysis was used to determine trends and issues related to this topic. The researcher used articles on the topic of digital archives from 1995 to 2000, as found in the Library Literature database and paper index. It was found that the research questions initially asked by the researcher are being asked in the population articles as well. The permanence of the digital archive is questionable, as is the digital document. The safety of the document is also at risk. The ability to access documents is in doubt as well. In short, digitization is a new phenomenon, and no professional knows what will become of archives in the digital age, other than there will be a great deal of change. The storage aspect of archives, as relates to the second research question, is uncertain as well, since the original electronic document is sometimes difficult to determine. The third research question: "Is digitization really the answer?" is the most difficult. There is no firm answer to this question in any of the articles used in the population.

The analysis found many issues connected to digitization. The preservation of digital documents is under debate with no clear solution readily available. Another issue is how to find specific documents or parts of documents once they have been digitized. The increased cost of digitization is also a problem. Perhaps the most important finding is the lack of initiative and of communication on the part of archivists, librarians, or those in the public sector to deal with the many issues of digitization.

In summary, digitization appears to be the solution for the preservation of archival materials while raising many more questions and problems. This research indicated a real and immediate need for more communication between archivists, librarians, and the private sector.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Barbara Safford


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (40 pages)



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