Friday, April 03, 2009

Information / Data Preservation

For those of you interested in information preservation (I took every course about this topic that I could while in library school), a few items of interest:

  • Should You Worry About Data Rot? - a NY Times article based on an interview with the curator of the computer history museum that discusses the potential short-life spans of digital media formats vs older analog formats.

  • Retro Media: Memory (and Memories) Lost - an online exhibit hosted by the SUNY Buffalo Library that explores the history of media formats for audio media, photographs and images, audio-visual media, and computer data. Also discusses data migration as a preservation strategy.

Basically, if you think you're saving information for posterity by migrating it from analog to digital formats, think again. You have to continue to migrate data from media to media and file format to file format as these formats change, and you should hold on to your analog copies as they may have a longer shelf-life.

Speaking of obsolescence, Encarta, Microsoft's online and software-based encyclopedia, is biting the dust and will be gone by the end of this year.

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