Personal Archives Pre- and Post- Cloud Computing

  • Roland Charles Quintaine

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


The aims of the 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. Two existing personal collections already within the control of an archive service were surveyed. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with creators of two similar collections not yet within an archive, who use cloud services as part of their workflows. A comparison was then made between the two sets of material, and the interview data was 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. 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. The key points were that trust in custodians and service providers is a key issue for users, 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. Further study of the personal recordkeeping practices of individuals is desirable. Archive organisations should take their cues from the community archives movement and the Personal Information Management discipline in reaching out to record creators in a spirit of education and partnership.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorSarah Higgins (Supervisor)

Cite this