The Dubai Archiving Center (DAC) has to manage a substantial volume of records that includes archives found in the organization itself in addition to records on the conducted research that are stored in the archiving center. Moreover, based on the fact that the center is in the process of signing agreements with some local archiving establishments in the country, for example, the Juma Almajed Arching Center and the National Arching Center, it is essential for the DAC to develop a comprehensive policy of archiving with a view of allowing the center to conduct its day-to-day duties efficiently. Therefore, this policy of archiving aims at ensuring that the business of the archiving center is effectively documented through the creation of specific records that can be effectively managed while following all rules and regulations in archiving.
The Purpose and Aim of the Archiving Policy
The main purpose of the archiving policy is to establish the basic framework that is required by the Dubai Archiving Center (DAC) for the effective and efficient management of records (Archives Association of British Columbia, 1999). The policy provides an insight into the knowledge that is required by employees at the DAC in order to create and use the DAC record in addition to the provision of the standards of classification, the management and the storage of records effectively.
The archiving policy aims at the achievement of three major goals
- The first goal is enabling the DAC to keep crucial data, as well as documents, which are to be used in the future or rather for purposes of the further reference.
- The second goal is to help DAC to dispose of records or rather documents that are not needed in the center anymore.
- The third goal is to assist the center in the organization of records with a view to increasing the ease of searching and accessing them.
These goals of the archiving policy are prioritized because the primary aim of storing the data is the possibility of their usage for the future reference.
Legal Issues in the Process of Archiving
A detailed discussion of the data archiving covers the unavoidable element of the legitimacy. A holistic archiving policy should consider all elements that are required for developing an effective archiving policy. After the identification of the type of data to be archived, is the next step presupposes the development of a good archiving policy (Spiro, 2009). A comprehensive archiving policy provides a formal set of procedures that set the rules for the process of archiving. Thus, a comprehensive policy of archiving has a set of essential elements. These elements include the criteria for every type of stored data, define mechanisms to be employed in the facilitation of the archiving process, the media type to be employed in storing, and the duration, for which the data are going to be archived depending on their type, as well as the rules and conditions for accessing the archived data.
A comprehensive policy of archiving should also involve the protection of the integrity of archives. The integrity of archives has two distinct aspects. The first one implies that archives are to be protected from being tempered (Payette, 2008). They ought to be secure in that an individual should not be able to make any modifications to the data that are archived. The second aspect is that the archived data are to be protected from being lost. For the archived data to be protected against such an issues, a number of copies have to be made.
Technologies in Archiving
Various technologies can be used in archiving. However, before making a decision on the best one to use, it is crucial for the DAC to look deeper into the features of each in addition to the policies and technology in the light of the manner, in which they can contribute to achieving the desired goal. One of the key technologies that are to be applied to archiving is the cloud archiving. This technology allows people to access information in the cloud for a more elaborate and effective sharing of information for the group consumption. The second relevant technology is the email archival software that makes sending information across different sections of the archive much easier (Payette, 2008). Consequently, the sharing of data across the archive is more reliable and efficient. The third technology is the tape usage, especially with regard to the information storage. As a result, data are more secure in the case of the tape system usage.
Steps in the Formulation of the Archiving Process
The first notable step of the archiving process is the transfer of data from different government departments and independent research. The data are to be in the best format possible. The second step involves coming up with clear processing standards for the collected data. It will explain the exact measures that would ensure that such information is effectively processed (Archives Association of British Columbia, 1999). The third step is the processing of the data. It would be vital to ensure that a system of data processing is put in place for achieving the efficiency when it comes to the storage of data within the organization. The documentation processing is the fourth step that will involve implementing materials and strategies that will ensure the maximum utilization of the stored materials. Metadata are to be created in the fifth step based on the information provided by the data depositors. The sixth step entails the publication of the data, while the seventh one involves its preservation for the further effective usage.
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The Identification of Data that Are to be Stored
The first step in the effective and efficient process of archiving for the Dubai Archiving Center (DAC) implies a detailed study of the data that are to be archived. As a general rule, the archiving process should be done on the static data that has not faced any modification for a certain period. In this regard, this archiving center should look into the last date that the particular data were last accessed (Spiro, 2009). However, the organization also needs to put into consideration several other factors in the identification of the data to be archived. The first factor is the data type. It is crucial because there are instances when only a single archiving policy and single archiving method are applicable for a particular data file. From the general point of view, there is no universal method of archiving that is applicable to an entire database.
The Policy of Deletion and the Lifecycle Management of the Data
A good archiving policy should also capture the issue of the deletion policy and the lifecycle management of data. In other words, the DAC should make an evaluation of the entire lifecycle management of the data. In this regard, this archiving center has to determine an estimated period of time, for which the data will be needed before being deleted (Fridell, LeDrew, & Vincent, 2014). Thus, the DAC should come up with a specific plan that will outline exact conditions, under which their data should be archived. Essentially, it is good to note that having a policy of archiving does not necessarily imply that one has a clear policy of deletion. Thus, the DAC has to identify both its policy of deletion and one of archiving. In addition, the DAC should also consider the regulatory compliance. It is crucial because not all organizations are aware of the laws and regulations that consider the retention of data but rather the laws and regulations that stipulate the penalties that they can face in the case of the failure of retaining the required data properly.
A Comprehensive Archiving Policy for the DAC
In line with the rules and regulations that ought to be followed in the process of archiving, a comprehensive policy of archiving should be in line with the rules and regulations that were already mentioned. However, it is also essential to mention the purpose and goals of the archiving policy before providing a discussion on the formulation of the archiving policy for the DAC. A comprehensive archiving policy for the DAC means adhering to the relevant legal framework of the archiving policy.
The Role of the DAC
The DAC has the role of the creation and the maintenance of full and accurate records in line with its business procedures. The archiving center also has a responsibility of collecting and storing archives for the future use or reference. It also has the duty of storing, protecting, and ensuring the accessible of all records according to the significance that is identified by archival resources besides authorizing the access to and deletion of records (Archives Association of British Columbia, 1999). The archiving center also works on ensuring that there are well-established lines that are clear in terms of the management of records besides providing employees at the archiving center with effective and efficient training in carrying out their daily responsibilities and duties. The DAC ensures the preservation of the vital history and the provision of crucial information concerning resources that are stored in the archiving center.
The Statement of Acquisition
The Dubai Archive Center will conduct the acquisition of records that meet the criteria provided below in the paper. It is to be done with the view to ensuring that it works at the provision of research resources for the current studies and the generation to come. First, the records can be in the form of architectural or photographic records. These records should not be individual papers of politicians, information regarding pressure groups, or other data that are influenced by one’s political perspective and views. There can also be some audio-visual and public records (Fridell, LeDrew, & Vincent, 2014).
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In terms of methods available for the acquisition of such records, various tools and approaches can be used. The first method that can be employed in the process of acquiring records is through donations or appropriate requests. This method is only applicable to external sources. Therefore, the Dubai Archive Center will only receive records via the donation, while ensuring that the law allows storing these data in the archiving center. However, several factors ought to be put into consideration before accepting the records donations (Spiro, 2009). These factors include the level of the staff proficiency, the availability of financial resources for cataloging, storing, and conserving the offered collection. Furthermore, the historical value or rather the historical importance of the record will be identified before accepting any donation. The donor will also be required to sign a transfer deed, after which the archiving center will inform the donor that the donation is to be subjected to a detailed historical value review. After the acquisition of the record, the Dubai Archive Center will be in a position to make decisions according to the appraisal and arrangement of the donated record. This step will then be followed by the process of selecting records that fit to be preserved permanently or be returned to the donator upon his or her request.
The second method in the acquisition of records is the transfer. This method is only applicable to internal records. In this case, the records are to be transferred from the government administration to the Dubai Archive Center. These records will then be evaluated; finally, a decision will be made whether these records are to be preserved permanently or not. If the records are not qualified for being stored in the archiving center, they should be destroyed in an appropriate manner.
The records might also be purchased as the third method of getting records. It means that the Dubai Archive Center will seek to make an acquisition of records by either an auction or private sale (Payette, 2008). However, the archiving center has to meet the criteria regarding the policy of collection in particular to the records that can be collected for the long-term preservation. An auction house or rather a person that is responsible for selling the records ought to provide detailed information concerning the provenance, as well as the custodial history, of the sold records at the moment of the deal.
The Statement of Access
The Dubai Archive Center will be open for the access by the general public all the year round with the exclusion of public holidays and the weeks that will be used for stocking the center. These weeks will be communicated to customers by the use of the official communication through the media and through the official website of the Dubai Archive Center.
The Scope of the Archiving Policy
This policy in archiving is applicable to all areas, as well as locations, of the Dubai Archiving Center (DAC). The policy is intended to work in compliance with all the rules and regulations of archiving that were mentioned earlier in this paper. Some specified units of the DAC that have the responsibility for the creation, storage, and maintenance of records of this archiving center have a distinct guideline in the management of all records of the center.
The Roles and Responsibility of Employees at the Archiving Center
The employees at the Dubai Archive Center have various responsibilities that are in line with this archiving policy. Their first responsibility is to aid in the process of communication. In other words, they have to provide information regarding all materials and resources that are stored in the archiving center (Archives Association of British Columbia, 1999). Thus, they are to be the first point of reference for various visitors. They also have the responsibility of participating in different initiatives that are led by the government and concern the preservation of records including special projects and surveys in addition to establishing and maintaining records in every office or rather program areas for the purposes of communication.
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Their second role is supporting the record schedule. In this regard, employees should ensure that they maintain a central copy of schedules for all approved records in the archiving center. The third function of employees is to coordinate the transfer of data. As mentioned earlier, the process of archiving follows specific deletion and retention policies (Spiro, 2009). Thus, the staff should ensure that they have all records that are to be retained at the archives center and those that are to be deleted. Employees also receive copies of the retention and deletion with a view to making the process of the data retrieval easier.
The Disaster Preparedness
A major crisis can occur at any particular time; it can endanger the precious cultural and historical resources of the Dubai Archive Center. In the case of a disaster, for example, an earthquake or hurricane, the archiving center might experience the destruction of cultural properties, especially books and documents in addition to other paper-based materials. In this respect, the major disaster preparedness method that will be employed by the Dubai Archive Center is the provision of the most appropriate conditions for the storage of resources in order to prevent the adverse effects of disasters in the case of their occurrence (Fridell, LeDrew, & Vincent, 2014). Therefore, in order to avoid possible consequences of a flood, the storage of records in the basement should be avoided. The paper records, such as books and documents, should be stored under water proof conditions.
Moreover, the archiving center should come up with an effective and efficient communication process that will be used in the case of a disaster. The communication plan should consist of the major communication person and specific channels that will be used in the process. This preparedness will ensure that everyone in the archiving center is much aware of the response plan that will be used in the case of any disaster. The response plan should outline all specific resources that will be used in managing specific cases.
Additionally, the Dubai Archive Center should come up with an effective and efficient recovery plan. In such a manner, the management of the archiving center should make an assessment of the possible disasters that can happen to the Dubai Archive Center and design a provisional plan that will aid in the process of recovery after the disaster. The recovery plan should consider the worst possible scenarios in the absentia of the security personnel after the incident (Huvila, 2014). The recovery plan should also provide an immediate course of action to be taken as a quick remedy in order to ensure that normal activities of the center are resumed as soon as possible. While preparing the recovery plan, it is also important to define individuals that will be directly involved in the recovery process. The personal data of these individuals, including the address and phone number, are to be mentioned in the recovery plan. All issues that are to be prioritized during the process of recovery should also be noted in the recovery plan. It is essential in determining the most crucial area to be addressed first in the process of recovery.
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Essentially, the disaster preparedness plan should include elements of preparation before the occurrence of a disaster and outline activities that will be undertaken for the recovery of the of materials within the archive. Contingency plans will be instrumental in ensuring that everything is well-protected for the future usage even when a natural disaster takes place.
Reviewing the Policy
While reviewing the success of the archiving policy in relation to the Dubai Archive Center, various factors are to be put into consideration. First, the archiving policy should be reviewed on a regular basis (Fridell, LeDrew, & Vincent, 2014). The policy should be amended according to the changes in the type of resources or rather the records that are being collected by the archiving center. The policy should also be reviewed in the light of the shift in the method of the acquisition of records by the Dubai Archive Center. Furthermore, it should be changed in line with the administrative procedures employed in the archiving center. The policy will also be reviewed in the light of any alternations in rules and regulations that guide the process of archiving.
In conclusion, the archiving policy developed above aims at promoting an effective usage of archive resources while, at the same time, adhering to the rules and regulations of archiving. It makes the storage of relevant materials for the everyone’s use easier. The policy effectively considers the relevant areas of the Dubai Archive Center; hence, it reflects the commitment to effective rules and regulations. All materials will be stored in the best ways possible; thus, the center will provide its users with the ability to enjoy the archive resources at the required time. The archived materials will be stored, while the center will pay attention to different risks, including environmental risks, with the view to ensuring the sustainability and future usage of all data.
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