Why You Should Consider Digitizing Your Records For Electronic Retention?

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Electronic Records Management (ERM) ensures your organization has the records it needs when they are needed.Records management is primarily concerned with the evidence of an organization’s activities, and is usually applied according to the value of the records rather than their physical format.

History of Record Retention & Document Scanning

What a relief it must’ve been for office workers in Manz, Germany, in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg finally built a commercially viable printing press. Until then, scribes who copied books and important documents checked their work by counting the number of letters on a page, which had to match exactly the number of letters on the page from which they were copying.

After the invention of Gutenberg’s press, the number of books, pamphlets, and written documents skyrocketed. It’s estimated that, prior to the invention of the press, all the books in the world could have easily fit inside a middling sized library.

history of records retention

Within 50 years of the invention of the press, there were 20 million books in existence. Within 150 years, there were 200 million books in Europe alone.

Not many of those books are around today. Despite the printing revolution sparked by the press, paper reproduction of documents has always had drawbacks and limitations.

Paper itself is a volatile substance, subject to destruction by fire, water, mold, and time. It also tends to take up a lot of space, can be expensive to use for reproductions, creates pollutants, and is not permanent. This means that data kept on paper must eventually be re-recorded.

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Fortunately, we have moved into another period of revolutionary record-keeping. Most of us use some type of digital format to retain our important business and personal data.

From these digital platforms, we are able to print portions of our records for whatever necessary temporary purposes we might have. The problem is this type of digital record-keeping has only been widely available to us for a few years. As individuals and business people, many of us have records going back for decades.

Historical archivists may have paper records dating back centuries. While we know that we are going to use digital documenting going forward, we often don’t recognize that it is vitally important to go backward and digitize all those paper records.

Also Read: Historical Document Digitizing Services

Historical/Legacy Document Scanning

Historical Letter Imaging Services

Here are some of the most important reasons that we, as individuals, should dig out those genealogy scanning services wills, letters, and written records and commitment them to digital reproduction:

  • Scrapbooks aren’t forever. The feel of turning the pages of old letters and holding keepsakes is wonderfully nostalgic and uplifting. On the other hand, our memorabilia’s usefulness to generations yet unborn will overwhelm the survivability of the best-kept scrapbook. Digitize the memories; then put them back in the book.
  • Legal and financial documents kept in the cloud are not subject to fire, flood, or theft.
  • Coming generations of optical character recognition will adapt our digital records for posterity; to say that another way, by digitizing, we are creating time capsules in a way our ancestors simply could not.
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Linking Our Organization’s History to Its Future

Beyond our personal need to preserve records, many of us belong to businesses and organizations with mountains of paper records. The sheer volume of the records to be converted is often a disincentive to digitization.

The recognition that all the organization’s previous data is already on paper even results in some businesses and organizations deciding to avoid embarking on digitizing any of their data.

On the other hand, the loss of old records or the inability to access them quickly when needed prompts cries of “why didn’t we convert these to a digital format?”

Here are some of the most important reasons to convert paper records into digital archives:

Digitizing Archival Records Service
  • For current businesses and active organizations, digitizing archives makes it possible to access all past data immediately. A consistently formatted document platform makes it possible to draw upon data from 100 years ago as quickly as from yesterday.
  • Digital formatting allows multiple users to access data simultaneously and eliminate the possibility of missing documents and data. You don’t have to worry about which employee has forgotten that he or she had a certain report under a pile on her or his desk.
  • Multiple digital usages reduce the need for duplication. Every verified person sitting at the conference table can access specified materials from their personal digital devices.
  • Digital material, unlike paper records, can be encrypted and protected in a variety of ways from those who should not have access.
  • There are no space limitations for digital storage. Physical copies of documents imply storage and safe-keeping expenses. Multiple digital copies of records kept in the cloud and externally are comparably inexpensive.
  • Digital formatting means that documents and data can quickly be transformed from one type of file to another. Intentionally saving records in different formats can be programmed into the saving process.
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Closing Thoughts

Looking back on Gutenberg’s contribution to the evolution of human civilization, we can easily recognize the benefits of the printed press. The press made it possible to capture and convey information and ideas and thus transformed the very fabric of human life.

It’s important to remember this now because our age has likewise embarked on a similar revolutionary journey: the digitization of information and ideas.

Indeed, each time we save something digitally rather than printing it on a piece of paper, we perpetuate the revolution.

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    What Our Client Says

    •   Mr. Sharma is very professional and friendly.  We had eRecords scan our books for archive purposes.  The quality of their service is amazing.  They are fast and timely.  I am very glad that we used eRecords to scan our books and wouldn't hesitate to contact eRecords if we need digitizing/imaging service in the future.

      thumb Esther L.
      12/19/2023
    •   eRecords has provided an amazing high quality scanning work for our books. Mr. Sharma is very detail oriented and the results are just excellent!

      thumb Eliana D.
      12/12/2023
    •   I contacted eRecords for a small-scale scanning job. Although they usually work on large projects, Pankaj was more than willing to help with what I was looking for! The scans that came back were high quality, and delivered in a timely matter. eRecords was also the business that quoted me the most competitive price. I would definitely recommend - Pankaj is knowledgable and a great collaborator to work with on meeting any scanning service you may need.

      thumb Nina P.
      3/23/2023
    •   ERecords USA has provided Fast, Timely, and Amazing quality service for scanning my books and magazines. Ritika, Pankaj, and their Staff are very friendly, flexible, and easy to work with. They go above and beyond in their service. I give them  A+++.

      thumb Rahul P.
      2/28/2023
    •   I have used eRecordsUSA on three separate occasions and each job was performed exceptionally. All files scanned at high resolution, organized, and returned in a timely manner. Pricing was also very reasonable for such time-intensive work. Management was also very good with their communication.

      I am a digital nomad that owns zero paper, so having all of my files in Google Drive is imperative. With Google's OCR (Optical Coherence Recognition) I can now find my files at lightning speed. ie - I search for [deed], [roof repair], [assessment], etc. and all relevant files "automagically" appear.

      thumb Cameron V.
      12/09/2022
    •   EXCELLENT quality work. VERY professional. I had some kids art work scanned high resolution that was too large for the scanners at copy shops. eRecordsUSA did a fantastic job and I highly recommend them.

      thumb Stephen M.
      11/02/2021
    •   ERecords USA provided a fast and accurate turnaround for a request to duplicate X-Rays.  They ensured that copies were accurate prior to payment and went out of their way to produce within a short time.

      thumb Beth S.
      4/21/2021
    •   Erecords scanned 56 bankers boxes of legal case files and other professional documents for me. This was a particularly difficult and complex job because, in naming files, they had to work from both a written file inventory and the file names on the folders themselves and use a consistent file naming protocol that Erecords and I agreed upon. They did an outstanding job of following this file naming protocol and organizing the documents in digital form to create the file structure that I intended. This job was also difficult because of the variety of page sizes and the age and condition of some of the documents; they managed to accurately capture everything. They also made the job easier for me by picking the documents up at my home. Pankaj at E records was invariably courteous and helpful and spent the time needed with me before the job to develop a digital file structure to make the documents most useful. I highly recommend Erecords for document scanning.

      thumb David L.
      2/27/2021
    •   I chose eRecords to scan over 2000 pages of yearbooks and several hundred photos from the early 90's to early 00's. I was not disappointed. They were one of the few locations in the Bay Area that I contacted that let me drop off and pickup the material in person. The JPG and PDF scans that they sent me were extremely high quality and OCR'd the yearbooks so I can search for text. They were able to repair one of my yearbook's bindings to the point where I couldn't even find the repair! This place is professional and good value for what I received. If something ever happened to my irreplaceable yearbooks and photos I know they're digitized now and backed up to multiple locations on my network and cloud! Highly recommended, Pankaj and eRecords!

      thumb David B.
      10/28/2020
    •   I found eRecordsUSA on an internet search and contacted them to inquire about scanning to PDFs a set of some six hundred old, faded, tattered pages of an underground/community newspaper I co-founded fifty years ago.  I lucked out on this first call, finding a most professional, efficient, accessible, top notch company to help me archive my newspaper despite these trying, pandemic times.

      thumb Ted R.
      7/14/2020