• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Thing 25: Cloud Computing

Page history last edited by Karla Irwin 11 years ago

By Jessica Miller


Cloud computing is based on the idea that a user does not necessarily need to own or even understand all of the hardware and data storage space to use a particular software service or perform a particular task.  Users typically will pay only for what they use, either on a subscription basis or as they would pay for a utility such as electricity.  They also save on up-front equipment costs.  Potential drawbacks to cloud computing services include data security and privacy issues, as well as the potential for data loss.


Cloud computing is probably most easily demonstrated in web-based e-mail services like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail or in photo storage sites like Flickr, Photobucket, or Snapfish.  Even information we post on social networking sites is stored “in the cloud.”

The Library of Congress, as part of its National Digital Information Infrastructure & Preservation Program, has partnered with the New York Public Library, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and DuraSpace (an open source software company) to test the viability of cloud technology for long-term digital preservation.  Check out LC’s press release and DuraSpace’s blog on the program.




  1. Read through the articles and view the video in the resources section.
  2. Make a list of the services you use at work or at home that you think use cloud computing technologies.


Blog Prompts


  • In what ways do you think archival institutions can make use of cloud computing services?
  • What are some of the issues archivists will need to consider with regard to using cloud services?
  • Does your institution use any cloud services, or have you used any in other settings?  If so, how well do they work?
  • Are you responsible for records management at your institution? How does cloud computing affect the management of those records?





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