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Personal digital archiving for journalists: a “private” solution to a public problem

Rachel King (Library, Long Island University, New York City, New York, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 9 May 2018

Issue publication date: 25 October 2018




The purpose of this paper is to encourage librarians to teach digital archiving practices to journalists as a way of giving journalists the skills they need to save their work for future use and to facilitate the preservation of journalism for posterity.


The author has reviewed the personal digital archiving literature and analyzed how it might be specifically tailored to the unique needs of journalists.


Daily journalism has traditionally been preserved by libraries in the form of newspapers and magazines housed in library periodicals departments. Now that nearly all journalism is published online and libraries generally only have access via temporary subscriptions, libraries are prevented from doing any kind of traditional preservation work (e.g. storing copies locally). In the future, this lack of local preservation may lead to a shortage of early twenty-first century primary source material for historians.

Research limitations/implications

The needs of journalists do vary greatly based on the nature and format of their work and its publication venue, making it difficult to offer a single set of standards or recommendations.


While personal digital archiving advocates have generally interpreted the word “personal” to be synonymous with “private,” this paper points to the need to expand the concept to include professional activities, particularly in light of the prevalence of telecommuting and freelance work arrangements, and the lack of support and training received by remote workers and independent contractors.



King, R. (2018), "Personal digital archiving for journalists: a “private” solution to a public problem", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 573-582.



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