Where are the materials that tell your story?

Now you know what materials best tell your story, it’s time to find out where they are. You may have a central area for storing all your digital and physical materials but usually they are spread over several locations. Some examples of where materials may be found or stored are listed below.

Digital: on a computer; shared drive; online cloud-based sharing platform; or on portable hard drives, CDs, or discs.

Physical: in a filling cabinet; shelves; desks; or in cupboards

They may also be spread over several premises, for example if you have more than one building or people who work from home. There will be obvious places to look but remember that you are looking at your story from the very beginning and there may be materials that have been stored away and forgotten about. Check your broom cupboards and closets and ask around. It may be that people no longer involved in the enterprise have a collection of ‘stuff’ in their attic or garage.

Physical materials might be in boxes or carrier bags and it’s not been unknown for them to be found stuffed up chimney breasts! Digital materials might be on old floppy discs that you can no longer access but if you know that they contain key materials that aren’t available elsewhere, they are worth holding onto. Technologies are around which can be used to extract information from old formats.

Some items will be duplicated across different locations, for example minutes of Trustees meetings will be held by all the Trustees but only one copy of the final approved minute needs to be added to your archive.

Heritage half hour

Archivist's example

Noting down where materials are held

Look at this example to see two different ways the location of materials could be noted down.

Activity A4

Noting down where the materials are held

This activity gives you the opportunity to reflect on the materials you listed in Activity A3 and think about who might hold these materials and the places where they are kept.

Open the Activity booklet and click on Activity A4.