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Digitizing archival records: benefits and challenges of a large professional accounting association
journal contributionposted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Monica KeneleyMonica Keneley, Potter B, West B, Cobbin P, Chang S
With antecedents extending to 1886, CPA Australia is one of the world’s most significant professional accounting associations. Reflective of its long history and widespread influence, the organization holds an extensive and diverse archive that evidences both its own development and the general evolution of accounting and business practices. This article presents a case study of a project to digitize selected aspects of this archive. Informed by perspectives on managing archives in the digital era, the benefits and challenges of digitization are presented. A key benefit was enabling access to digital images while preserving rare and fragile original records and documents. However, challenges arose in prioritizing the items for digitization, and this necessitated the development of a model, taking the form of a decision matrix. The CPA Australia case study will be informative for other organizations seeking to use digitization as a means to overcome the dilemma associated with providing access to archival materials while also ensuring their preservation.