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Excuse Me:. . . Some Digital Preservation Fallacies? 2011/08/13

Posted by nydawg in Digital Archives, Digital Preservation.
Tags: , ,

This article by Chris Rusbridge [Director, Digital Curation Centre, University of Edinburgh]
seemed to generate the most interest of nydawg googlegroup members last year, so re-read or share with someone else on #AskArchivists or #DODA day!

“Since then, a number of common assertions, or perhaps assumptions, about digital preservation have begun to worry me. No one person has said all these things, but increasingly they seem to be in the  background of conversations. I will put these forward as a list of
statements, but, in some respects at least, I think they are  fallacies:

1. Digital preservation is very expensive [because]
2. File formats become obsolete very rapidly [which means that]
3. Interventions must occur frequently, ensuring that continuing costs remain high.
4. Digital preservation repositories should have very long timescale aspirations,
5. ‘Internet-age’ expectations are such that the preserved object must be easily and instantly accessible in the format de jour, and
6. the preserved object must be faithful to the original in all respects.

These statements seem reasonable, and perhaps they are. However, I feel we might benefit from a rather jaundiced look at them. So that is what I thought I would attempt for this article. Beware, the arguments presented here are not settled in my mind; indeed this is to some extent part of an argument with myself!




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