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Digital preservation

Ana has blogged about Digital Preservation. Go on, read it.

I agree with Ana and look forward to more posts on the topic.  Digital preservation is fairly well misunderstood. Quite often it is believed just ‘digitizing’ something will Solve All The Problems.

Not so. Digitizing simply brings in new problems (new solutions too).

One of the issues is The Future.  Proponents of digitization are stating “we digitize for future generations to have access”. Really? That’s lovely! What are you doing to ensure your digitized files will be accessible in the future? How are you keeping the digitization updated with new software/hardware? 

Anyone else remember the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Data tried accessing old files and had to do some major time converting said files to something readable in the Next Generation? Or that data loss occurred due to age of the files? Or am I the only geek in the room?

There are lots of things to examine before jumping on the digitization wagon – Ana promised a future post about metadata and other topics regarding digitization. I’m looking forward to it.

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Categories: digital preservation
  1. September 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I think you’re exactly right – and this is one of the issues that few libraries think about when beginning a digitization/preservation initiative – how safe is the data? I read an article about the Harvard libraries recently – they keep three copies of their data, constantly checked and replaced with good data from the other sources. Can you imagine how expensive that is? Goodness. Anyhow, great post!

  2. September 20, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Thanks Jason. I didn’t know that about Harvard, that is most excellent (and very $$$).

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