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 [...]

Oct 022012
Digital Preservation: A Role for Public Libraries

This post is based on remarks I presented during a Digital Dialog at the University of Maryland, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, on 9/25/2012. I believe that libraries, archives and museums share a common need to aggressively promote their social mission. While there are fundamental variances among these organizations, current trends are driving [...]

Sep 052012
The Year of Blogging Vigorously: Digital Preservation and Social Media Outreach

This post consists of edited remarks I gave to the 17th Brazilian Conference of Archival Science/XVII Congresso Brasileiro de Arquivologia held in Rio de Janeiro in June of this year.  These remarks will be published in Portuguese as part of the conference proceedings.  My original presentation was given using a set of slides, a copy [...]

Oct 302011
Digital Preservation, Digital Curation, Digital Whatever: What's the Right Term?

There is a polite but persistent disagreement among librarians, archivists and other normally peaceful souls who care about keeping digital information accessible into the future.  The conflict is low key, as one might expect: no one is occupying reading rooms, much less being led away in plastic handcuffs. But there are few signs that all [...]