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Varieties of community archives

I was chatting with someone this morning regarding the different challenges facing community groups.  In particular, we were talking about long term storage and access to information which may be generated as part of a project.  Sometimes, information gets stored outside the community's or the project's control, and sometimes it doesn't get kept at all.  Sometimes, it is hoped someone else does all the storage.

The choice of Free and Open Source software that we have made here in Assynt shows that it is possible to retain control over information generated relating to your own location, project or community.  While technology fashions change, such as the latest fashion to store data "in the cloud," such options may not be conducive to long term needs of communities, especially when information is so important to who we are, and what makes our community important to us.

So whether you are involved in tourism, scientific projects, archaeology, geology, botany, social sciences, or the humanities, such as cultural projects, the need to store information remains.  As time passes, so the body of information collected becomes more valuable and more relevant to the community.  So when thinking about your project, remember that you can also manage the information legacy of the project, and do that in such a way that it has long term value to your community.