Archivists preserve cultural artifacts and do their best to make them accessible to future generations. These artifacts traditionally included books, articles, images, music, legal documents, letters, and just about any other item that contains important or meaningful information. Until a few decades ago, these artifacts were primarily physical. Preserving them required good storage conditions and good handling practices. Making them available meant providing an index, such as a card catalog, to tell people where they were stored, and a physical space, such as a library or museum where people could physically access the items.
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