All Blackboard data is backed up routinely in case of hardware failure or unanticipated data loss. However, individual courses are only backed up once weekly, and only after they've been made available to students. The archives are only kept for a week due to the amount of storage space it requires to retain multiple backups for thousands of courses.
In the event that you inadvertently delete data or otherwise find your course in a state you didn't intend, there's a good chance we would be able to restore a copy of the course that would get you back to a better state. However that backup file could be as much as a week old, so we can't guarantee that we could help. Also, these archives store links to files you've uploaded, not the files themselves. You cannot retrieve a file you've misplaced from a course restore of an archive.
If you would like to have a complete archive of your course, including your uploaded files, you can make an archive yourself using the instructions below. Once the archive file is created, download it to your local hard drive for safekeeping and delete the copy from the Export/Archive area within the course. You cannot open that archive and have it look anything like your course, nor can you reinstall it on the server. However, you can forward that archive file to the System Administrator to be restored. At the end of each semester, you may want to be sure you've downloaded an archive. Any archive and/or export files within the courses are deleted 30 days after the semester ends.
To create an archive of your course:
1) Go to the Control Panel area of your course homepage.
2) Next to the Packages and Utilities item, use the pulldown to choose Export/Archive
3) On the next screen, choose Archive
4) On the next screen, select Include Grade Center History if necessary. That will contain any prior attempts or grade changes that may have happened rather than just the current grades. Also select "Copy Links and Copies of the Content."
5) Click Submit
Blackboard will queue the job and send you an email when the archive is complete
6) When you receive the email, return to Packages and Utilities/Export-Archive Course.
7) You'll now see a link to your completed archive file. Click to the link to download and save to your computer.
8) Delete the archive file from the Export/Archive area of the course.