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Saving files for the future

China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-14


Workers bind files again after they have been digitized in the Hainan Provincial Archive in Haikou, Hainan province, on Aug 16. ZHANG MAO/FOR CHINA DAILY

An archive is a place where records are kept, a place where rows of filing cabinets and stacks of documents are common sights.

To modernize, archivists have been steadily working to digitize files and make them more convenient for those who need to access them.

The Hainan Provincial Archive in Haikou, Hainan province, for example, has been digitizing files since 2018. The work is now half done.

Every day, its archivists move files from storerooms to digitalization offices, check file numbers and the order of pages, undo bindings and repair damaged pages before scanning and saving them on the computerized system.

They even use electric irons to smooth wrinkled paper. "By keeping the iron between 40 C and 50 C and using it quickly, you can remove wrinkles," one of the workers said.

Every scanned paper is double checked on the computer, including details such as its file and page numbers, before being filed, completing the digitalization process.

"Our work is essential to the efforts to upgrade traditional archives into modern digital archives," another worker said.