Frequently Asked Questions

Does SFU Archives acquire electronic records?

SFU Archives is currently building a digital repository that will increasingly allow us to acquire electronic records, preserving access to them for generations to come.

Electronic records pose serious challenges to long-term preservation because of the rapid obsolescence of software and hardware and the inherent fragility of digital storage devices (e.g. CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives, etc.). However, individuals and organizations are increasingly documenting their activities only by electronic means and tomorrow's archives will be digital.

When proposing a donation, consider including your electronic records as well as your paper ones and talk to the Staff Archivist about SFU Archives' current technical capacity to preserve different types of electronic records (e.g. email, office documents, websites, etc.). It is important to capture as complete a picture as possible of the life and career of an individual or the history and operations of an organization. Omitting electronic records from your donation might mean significant gaps in the historical record.