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Managing Digital Archives

Basic information
Name of programme (original language)
Managing Digital Archives
Cultural Heritage Area
Safeguarding and preservation
Dissemination and Communication
Programme description

This course provides a thorough grounding in the management of archives in digital formats. It covers the processes around managing them, from deciding what records to collect and keep, through taking them into custody and ingest, to description and metadata management, preservation techniques and access provision. It also includes management in the context of modern organisations to provide learners with skills and knowledge to influence stakeholders and ensure that digital archives are valued and resourced. 

Is the programme a joint degree programme?
Double degree
Joint delivery
Cooperation with other institutions

The course has been written by Nancy McGovern, former chair of ICA’s Digital Records Expert Group and Margaret Crockett, ICA’s Training Officer, with demonstration videos created by Pauline Soum-Paris, Project Archivist at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and expert contributions from Kari Smith, Institute Archivist at MIT.

Qualification provider
Does the E&T programme lead to a formal qualification?
Education category (HE/VET/HE-VET)
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Education format
Programme Type
Continuing Education and Training (CET)
Statistics / Formal status
Core function
Preservation and Safeguarding
Supplementary functions
Engagement and use
ESCO - Occupation
2621.3 - conservator
Does the programme lead to a regulated profession?
Characterization of the E&T programme
Credit system
Do not know
ECTS credits
Student work load (hours)
Contact hours
Contact hours comments

the course is online

Study format
Are there access requirements?
Teaching language
Programme learning outcomes


‘Managing Digital Archives’ aims to provide learners with the knowledge to develop the infrastructure to manage their digital archives now and provide contemporary access as well as preserve them over time to ensure their survival and access in future, distinguishing real-time digital archives activities from over-time digital preservation to maximise efforts and resources. It also suggests options for learners to continue to develop their knowledge and skills, building their confidence and empowering them to build digital archives management capacity in their organisations. The course explains how to manage digital archives with examples to support archivists and those working in archival contexts in the best way to look after digital materials while relevant technologies emerge and practice evolves in response. It emphasises practical steps to start or advance digital archives management with limited resources and is grounded in the standards and practice that provide a foundation for the ongoing stewardship of digital archives. The course does not address the management of current records in digital formats.


The course is suitable for archivists and others responsible for managing archives in all formats who need to gain the expertise necessary to preserve and provide access to digital archives. It is an intermediate level course and learners should be familiar with the principles and practice of managing archives in physical formats. Learners also need to be proficient in the use of computers for everyday personal and office requirements and have a basic understanding of the potential and implications of information technology for archives management.

Course characteristics

The course will consist of the following sections: 

  • Introduction to managing digital archives 
  • Collecting 
  • Ingest 
  • Preservation 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Access  
  • Stewardship 
Is there a mandatory (external) practical training?
Mode of delivery of education / training
Tuition cost

255 Euros (discount for ICA members available)