May 032014
Is the Internet Destroying Art, Beauty, Wisdom and All That is Good, Decent and True?

A strain of techno-pessimism, much of it invading the border of hysteria, is rampant in our culture. The Internet is Making us Stupid!  Gadgets Ruin Relationships and Corrupt Emotions!  Technology Is Taking Over English Departments with The false promise of the digital humanities! At first glance, this kind of thing seems so very important and present-day, reflecting serious analysis about the impact of new tools on […]

May 012014
Authors, Computers and Hints About What Survives for Born Digital Literary Archives

There is an endless fascination about how writers work. What time they start, where they do it, how much they drink–all of it is grist for literary gawkers. When I peep into writerly habits, I wonder about computers. How much do writers revise on the screen? What kind of digital record do they keep of the drafting process? How do […]

Apr 202014
The Born Digital Literary Remains of David Foster Wallace

I just finished D.T. Max’s fine new book, Every Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. The book is elegantly written and does a wonderful job in portraying Wallace, who was a polymath genius, stunning literary talent and deeply sincere humanist . While I enjoyed learning more about all aspects of the man, I was especially interested […]

Mar 242014
Born Digital Literary Remains: Libraries Await the Digital Archives of Longing

Are you looking forward to The Emails of Thomas Pynchon? Or maybe Jonathan Franzen: Tweets and Chats? Sorry, but the future holds something different for the literary remains of famous authors. Email and other forms of digital technology represent a sea change for writers. Works are drafted and rewritten on the screen. Authors have a vastly expanded capability […]

Mar 152014
Does the Public Trust Government to Keep Digital Archives?

Edward Snowden did more than blow the lid off secret government surveillance. He has called into question a fundamental role of government itself: keeping records. Governments have always kept records. Documentation is needed for protecting legal rights and financial obligations, as well as for establishing individual identities and relationships. While there were instances of public […]

Mar 142014
How Long Will Your Digital Storage Media Last?

All digital storage media–hard drives, flash disks, CD-ROMs, and the like–have a short life.  This is why digital preservation requires active management, including regular migration of content from older storage devices to newer devices. Individuals face an especially serious challenge.  Unlike many organizations, people at home typically do not have special services to guard their […]

Mar 042014
Personal Digital Archives: A Feverish Impression

Brace yourself: you probably already have it. I know I’ve had it for years, but lately it seems that everyone I meet is coming down with personal archive fever. The symptoms include bouts of anxiety, obsessive behavior, vivid memory flashbacks and shifts in mood from an urge to protect to a compulsion to forget, perhaps […]

Dec 262012

Any list obviously reflects the interests of the compiler, as well as the source and scope of the information considered.  In this case, I turned to Slideshare and searched on “digital preservation.” Filtering by “this year,” yields the following, ranked in order. Digital Preservation and Social Media Outreach. Presentation given during the 17th Brazilian Conference of Archival Science in […]