An archive refers to a collection of records, and also refers to the location in which these records are kept. Archives are made up of records which have been created during the course of an individual or organization's life. In general an archive consists of records which have been selected for permanent or long-term preservation.
Records, which may be in any media, are normally unpublished, unlike books and other publications. Archives may also be generated by large organizations such as corporations and governments. The highest level of organization of records in an archive is known as the fonds. Archives are distinct from libraries insofar as archives hold records which are unique. Archives can be described as holding information "by-products" of activities, while libraries hold specifically authored information products.
The archives will not only occupy valuable office space but also increase the time and efforts for document retrieval. Archives processing is the process to scan the archives into digital images for easy retrieval. The use of document imaging will facilitate the companies to file its documents systematically in electronic form. By doing so, it saves a lot of time in searching, retrieving and sorting documents. It will substantially improves the efficiency of operational activities.