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March 26, 2009

Preserving Digital Content in the 21st Century

Filed under: Podcasts and Slideshows — Matt Anderson @ 10:20 am

Bob Horton, Director of Library, Publications & Collections, takes a look at the considerable challenges involved in preserving digital content. While content keeps growing and storage media keep changing, historical organizations struggle to keep up.

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4 Responses to “Preserving Digital Content in the 21st Century”

  1. George Champine Says:

    Love MNHS. How about less whining about problems and more description of collection.

  2. Laura Weber Says:

    Whining? Preserving content that is now presented only digitally but for decades, even centuries, was in print, is the key question confronting historians and historical societies. Thank you, Mr. Horton for addressing this crucial issue in a compelling and informative way. Mr. Champine, there’s a wealth of information about the collection in this massive Web site.

  3. Mary, the Librarian Says:

    Although this only discussed records that start out in digital or electronically readable formats, the same issues apply to such older paper-based formats as books and photos that are digitized. I constantly talk to people who think that once library and archival materials are digitized, they are preserved forever and the paper copy becomes obsolete. Not so. Digital copies are valuable because they make records more widely available and reduce handling of rare and fragile items. But the digital copies must be maintained through migrating to new formats or preserving the software and hardware that allow them to be read to ensure the investment in digitization is of continuing value. The increasing speed of technology change makes it difficult to keep up much less to stay ahead. As a colleague has said, “History is the orderly loss of information.” At MHS, it is more orderly than at most historical societies. Keep up the good work!

  4. Chris Says:

    Great video; and what a challenge!

    I would love to see a video on how you are tackling records archival and rolling migrations across techical formats. Are you moving to massively scalable disk arrays (content based or object storage)?

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