The aims of this Master’s dissertation research were to identify any changes in practice in the creation and storage of personal archives since the advent of cloud computing, and to determine what practices and/or policies could be required to bring cloud based material within the control of an archives service. This was carried out by surveying two existing personal collections already within the control of an archive service, and conducting semi-structured interviews with creators of two similar collections, not yet within an archive, that use cloud services as part of their workflows. A comparison was made between the two sets of material and the interview data analysed thematically. It was found that the current collections were broadly similar in form to the archive collections, and that cloud storage had not supplanted the participants’ use of custodial storage to the degree originally expected. Information arising from analysis of the interviews, combined with information from the existing literature on digital preservation, was nevertheless able to suggest some pointers for archives dealing with cloud records (born online) to enable them to develop appropriate practices and policies. The key points identified were that cloud storage of personal collections has not yet become an extensive problem for archives, and that the current, custodial model of archiving is still a valid approach to take. Recommendations included the need for further study of the personal recordkeeping practices of individuals and that archives organisations should take their cues from both the community archives movement and the personal information management discipline while reaching out to record creators in a spirit of education and partnership.


Scroll to top