How to create a digital archive

Dusting off your archives and putting them online may seem like a good idea, but how exactly is it done?
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An early La Boite production for ABC radio. Image via

Dusty boxes overflowing with old photographs and papers, tucked away in cupboards or basements: every organisation that’s more than a few years old has an archive. But while such collections are of immense cultural and historic value, exploring such archives – let alone preserving them from the ravages of time and silverfish – is a significant challenge.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts