Digital Archives That Disappear
April 22, 2009
As digital archives have become more important and more popular, there are varying schools of thought among scholars about how best to guarantee that they will be around for good. Some think that the best possibility is for the creators of the archives — people generally with some passion for the topic — to keep control. Others favor acquisition, thinking that larger entities provide more security and resources for the long run.
I remember when people were horrified that google bought dejanews and when dejanews started archiving and keeping usenet, which was before fairly ephemeral. Those were horrific days for many people because something would be preserved and controlled by someone else that was never intended to be that way.
We’ve been facing problems with digital archives for ages and private digital archives are a huge problem for researchers, costs aside… The question of copyright, etc. is key and often misplaced, in the new form of the digital material. In any case, the discussion above points to some of the new problems of digital archives.