Friday, June 29, 2007

Perserving our pontifications

I've been spending a few hours reading (and being intimidated) by the content of "dshr's blog" belonging to one David Rosenthal. He uses the blog to discuss the work he is doing in Digital Preservation.

As far as I can see it, the process of how to save a blog for our coming generations to gasp at in wonder of the simplicity of it all is an area fraught with difficulties:

How do you decide what to save?
Who makes the decision?

What media do you record the bogs to?
Do you keep updating the media every time digital recording media changes or try to preserve the hardware the blogs are readable by?

Do you make the records publicly available?
How long after publication for?

I am not a professional nor someone with a vested interest in the field of in which the Author writes but it does strike me that as honourable as the intention of preserving e-journals is, what is just as important is preserving the media the journals are saved to and ensuring it is constantly transferred as technology changes to ensure the journals can be accessed and referenced.

There are a lot of big decisions to be made and I am glad that I do not have responsibility for making them.

It almost makes me long for the writing on cave walls method of recording representations of day to day life. At least the technology there was never in danger of becoming obsolete. There has not been a lot of changes in the eye - to- wall user compatibility in the last few thousands of years.

Technology simplifies life? I think not but it does keep me in a job and for that I am grateful.


Violet said...

Once I went on a field trip to the NZ Archives, as part of my library studies. They had a small collection of photos, as a record of everyday NZ life. But if we're to continue collecting photos - digital photos - to preserve for future generations, we get the same problem as we would with preserving blogs i.e. which ones do we keep, how do we preserve them etc? How would you control the flood of potential stuff that pours in when you ask for examples?

Big Chip Dale said...

The answer to your second question must surely be 'toilet paper'???

Istvanski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Istvanski said...

That was my deletion, I was typing too fast to be understood.

They should de-digitize this stuff and transfer it onto Papyrus. That's a storage medium that lasted a lot longer than minidisc.

David B said...

Hi Eliza. I've spent six months wondering if you ever got the email I sent you. You're a hard person to contact. I need to thank you for something. Could you email me at