It is good to hear that you are archiving (hopefully the backup and zip method). this offloads unused projects from your QC/ALM server and also saves disk space used by the repository and HEAP/RAM used by the QC Server application, ultimately helping performance.
When you ''archive'' a project to a ZIP (Repository + DB backup), it is from the QC version at the time you archived it. So, it would be stuck at QC11.52, say.
Later, when you want to restore it, you might be at QC version 12.53. this project would need to be unzipped to the repository location used by QC12.53 and the DB backup restored to your Database Server used by QC12.53. (If SQL-Server, it would also need to have the ''td'' user ''fixed'' with the ''EXEC sp_change_users_login '' command.
Then you would need to edit the DBID.xml file from the repository folder to point to your correct DB Server and repository (just as you do when upgrading or migrating to new server).
THEN, you would need to ''restore'' from SIte Admin, and continue with Verify/Repair/Upgrade to get it to QC12.53.
Now, if you were to have an ongoing task to ''eventually'' upgrade ALL of your archives to the currently used QC version, this restore/upgrade process would only need to be a RESTORE process when the time arises. Also, if you miss a version, the upgrade would be a smaller ''step''.
If you were to have old archives still at QC10, for instance, it would take at least two ''stops'' (one at QC11, one at QC11.52) to get to QC12.53. Had you kept up with upgrading your archives, your restore would be fairly quick.
You may not really need ALL of your archives in a ''ready-access'' state, but you should be able to prioritize the ones that might need to be restored sooner than others (or at all).