Mon, 26 Jan 2004 21:21:39 GMT

The need for digital preservation. Scott Carlson, The Uncertain Fate of Scholarly Artifacts in a Digital Age, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2004 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt: Some authors “wonder whether we are entering a digital dark age or a bright new era for scholarship. The raw materials of research — novels, notes, artwork, letters — are being produced on computers and saved on floppy disks and hard drives. Many scholars fear that these materials are in danger of ending up in the junk heap, trapped in obsolete computers. Others say the information age could be an age of plenty, an age when scholars reconceive their habits of research to cope with mountains of data, which then yield bold new discoveries. That future, however, will depend on digital-archiving strategies that are just now being planned. They have not yet been tested, or paid for.” (PS: For an article focusing on the same problem in the sciences, see Robert Dellavalle et al, Going, Going, Gone: Lost Internet References, Science, October 31, 2003. Thanks to Harlan Onsrud.) [Open Access News]