Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Digital Preservation

Andy Guess, “At Libraries, Taking the (Really) Long View,” Inside Higher Education, July 23, 2008, provides a description of the efforts to preserve digital stuff by librarians and archivists, focusing on the realization of trying to manage old the digital information these repositories now hold. Guess describes the various approaches as ranging from “hardware complexities, such as constructing storage devices that continuously monitor and repair data while remaining easily scalable; redundancy measures, such as distributing and duplicating data across storage devices and even across the country; universal standards, such as formats that could conceivably remain readable in the distant future; and interfaces, such as open software protocols that manage digital holdings and make them accessible to the public.” He cites a 2006 report from Britain’s Digital Preservation Coalition and describes work being done at Stanford University and its partnership with Sun Microsystems, setting up the “Sun Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group, or PASIG, to bring together leaders in research libraries, universities and the government to periodically meet and collaborate on digital archiving issues.”

The essay is at

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