Why You Should Consider Digitizing Your Records For Electronic Retention?
Electronic Records Management (ERM) ensures your organization has the records it needs when they are needed.Records management is primarily concerned with the evidence of an organization’s activities, and is usually applied according to the value of the records rather than their physical format.
History of Record Retention & Document Scanning
What a relief it must’ve been for office workers in Manz, Germany, in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg finally built a commercially viable printing press. Until then, scribes who copied books and important documents checked their work by counting the number of letters on a page, which had to match exactly the number of letters on the page from which they were copying.
After the invention of Gutenberg’s press, the number of books, pamphlets, and written documents skyrocketed. It’s estimated that, prior to the invention of the press, all the books in the world could have easily fit inside a middling sized library.
Within 50 years of the invention of the press, there were 20 million books in existence. Within 150 years, there were 200 million books in Europe alone.
Not many of those books are around today. Despite the printing revolution sparked by the press, paper reproduction of documents has always had drawbacks and limitations.
Paper itself is a volatile substance, subject to destruction by fire, water, mold, and time. It also tends to take up a lot of space, can be expensive to use for reproductions, creates pollutants, and is not permanent. This means that data kept on paper must eventually be re-recorded.
Fortunately, we have moved into another period of revolutionary record-keeping. Most of us use some type of digital format to retain our important business and personal data.
From these digital platforms, we are able to print portions of our records for whatever necessary temporary purposes we might have. The problem is this type of digital record-keeping has only been widely available to us for a few years. As individuals and business people, many of us have records going back for decades.
Historical archivists may have paper records dating back centuries. While we know that we are going to use digital documenting going forward, we often don’t recognize that it is vitally important to go backward and digitize all those paper records.
Also Read: Historical Document Digitizing Services
Historical/Legacy Document Scanning
Here are some of the most important reasons that we, as individuals, should dig out those genealogy scanning services wills, letters, and written records and commitment them to digital reproduction:
- Scrapbooks aren’t forever. The feel of turning the pages of old letters and holding keepsakes is wonderfully nostalgic and uplifting. On the other hand, our memorabilia’s usefulness to generations yet unborn will overwhelm the survivability of the best-kept scrapbook. Digitize the memories; then put them back in the book.
- Legal and financial documents kept in the cloud are not subject to fire, flood, or theft.
- Coming generations of optical character recognition will adapt our digital records for posterity; to say that another way, by digitizing, we are creating time capsules in a way our ancestors simply could not.
Linking Our Organization’s History to Its Future
Beyond our personal need to preserve records, many of us belong to businesses and organizations with mountains of paper records. The sheer volume of the records to be converted is often a disincentive to digitization.
The recognition that all the organization’s previous data is already on paper even results in some businesses and organizations deciding to avoid embarking on digitizing any of their data.
On the other hand, the loss of old records or the inability to access them quickly when needed prompts cries of “why didn’t we convert these to a digital format?”
Here are some of the most important reasons to convert paper records into digital archives:
- For current businesses and active organizations, digitizing archives makes it possible to access all past data immediately. A consistently formatted document platform makes it possible to draw upon data from 100 years ago as quickly as from yesterday.
- Digital formatting allows multiple users to access data simultaneously and eliminate the possibility of missing documents and data. You don’t have to worry about which employee has forgotten that he or she had a certain report under a pile on her or his desk.
- Multiple digital usages reduce the need for duplication. Every verified person sitting at the conference table can access specified materials from their personal digital devices.
- Digital material, unlike paper records, can be encrypted and protected in a variety of ways from those who should not have access.
- There are no space limitations for digital storage. Physical copies of documents imply storage and safe-keeping expenses. Multiple digital copies of records kept in the cloud and externally are comparably inexpensive.
- Digital formatting means that documents and data can quickly be transformed from one type of file to another. Intentionally saving records in different formats can be programmed into the saving process.
Looking back on Gutenberg’s contribution to the evolution of human civilization, we can easily recognize the benefits of the printed press. The press made it possible to capture and convey information and ideas and thus transformed the very fabric of human life.
It’s important to remember this now because our age has likewise embarked on a similar revolutionary journey: the digitization of information and ideas.
Indeed, each time we save something digitally rather than printing it on a piece of paper, we perpetuate the revolution.
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eRecordsUsa digitized 14 years of our organization’s archive of CCC Legacy, newspaper-style monthly journals into test-searchable PDF documents. From the start, I was impressed by their professionalism and interest in meeting our needs. This professionalism and customer focus continued through the completion of the project as we worked through issues with the quality and format of the source mat...
- Tim Montgomery
- CCC Legacy
I wanted to create electronic copies of 25 old high school yearbooks. Between my brothers and sisters, we had hard copies of yearbooks covering the years 1946 – 1970 (from when my oldest brother started kindergarten to when my youngest brother graduated from high school). Electronic copies (PDF) allows for easy distribution among family and friends and long-term preservation of the content. eR...
- Robert Duesterhoeft
Our school wanted to archive all of our yearbooks, and eRecordsUSA, scanned them beautifully and accurately. They shipped back the 53 original yearbooks promptly. We are quite pleased with the service and product that they provided.
- Brenda Riley
- Notre Dame High School
eRecordsUSA, yearbook scanning service is great. Many of my classmates either had not purchased their Senior yearbook or had lost it. I was able to reproduce it on CD for my 40 year High School reunion. All that received a copy were very thrilled and so grateful. I do recommend eRecordsUsa and their yearbook scanning service.
The digitizing of sixty-four years of back issues of our journal Military Collector & Historian by eRecords was superbly done and exceeded our expectations. I recommend them highly.
- David M. Sullivan, Administrator
- The Company of Military Historians
We are very pleased with the scanning work eRecordsUSA, has done for us, especially when they were willing to spend so much time discussing details. We feel that the work you did was better than our highest expectations, on the " Writing of Victor Houteff" PS: We have added a Bonus over the total, because of the good work.
I really love working with this company. They understand my needs and deliver a great service with a quick turn around. Highly recommend!
- Jennifer Serr
- The Sewing Room & Sewing with Jennifer Serr
Our company had about 5,000 pages of historical sales records that existed only in hard copy. We need to have these records scanned and imported into excel where they could be filtered, sorted, and subtotaled. eRecordsUsa did this for us in a fast, economical, accurate, and professional manner. I highly recommend them.
- Jim Sullivan
I went to eRecordsUSA to have data extracted from scans and photos of several hundreds of tables from archival materials. The price was good, and the quality was outstanding. I\'m grateful that they were able to compile the data in a format to my specifications. eRecordsUSA compares favorably against my previous experiences with digitization with freelancers and other companies, and best of all, t...
- Daniel Gross
- University of California, Berkeley
Very professional. Scan quality is quite good considering the age of the Magazines/ documents. Quick turnaround time, and good customer service.
- Michael Tang
- Penthouse Magazine
I am a happy repeat customer for over 3 years now! eRecordsUSA scanned all my course readers so I could go to class with my ipad instead of a heavy backpack full of paper. Very happy to have found them! Fast and reasonable turnaround time. With OCR, so all my documents are searchable. Thank you, eRecordsUSA!
- Ramon Rick
- Stanford Student
eRecordsUSA and team scanned our office documents - Great customer service, very good work quality at a very reasonable rate and they completed the project in a very timely manner. After our first project I have decided to use their services for my personal photo scanning. They actually come by your office and pick up and drop off the stuff. I recommend their service without any hesitation to a...
- Sunita Babbar
- Access Mortgage
Ritika at eRecordsUSA was very easy to work with. The quality of the scans was excellent and eRecordsUSA was able to scan 25+years old blueprints that were 105” x 44”. I will use this service again.
- Travis Newton
- Macro Plastics
I used eRecords to scan a boxes of academic and work related binders I had sitting around. They did a phenomenal job with great quality and at a reasonable price. They are highly communicative and deliver what they say they will. I highly recommend their services.
- S. Hutchinson
- Stanford Graduate
eRecordsUSA was awesome!!! They were in constant communication with us and delivered their Document Scanning / Book Scanning service on time. We will definitely be using them again in the future.
- Nicole B
- Clickatell Inc