Monday, January 16, 2006

Preservation Readings 13 January 2006

Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span? John Blau. PCWorld. January 10, 2006.,aid,124312,pg,1,RSS,RSS,00.asp

There are many views on how to store the digital materials, but optical discs have a short life span. There are a few things that can extend the life a few years, such as proper handling and storage. Cheap CDs may have a lifespan of 2 years. Hard drives have limitations and are also prone to failure over time. This article suggests using good quality magnetic tapes, which they claim are the superior storage and can last 30 to 100 years. But most important, have an archiving strategy that allows you to migrate to new technologies.

CDs, Lies, and Magnetic Tapes. Larry Medina. Computerworld. January 10 2006.

A response to the John Blau article about CD lifespan problems. The original article had little new to add, and was something that records managers have been saying for years. A sensible media migration policy, is needed. It should look at the usage pattern and methods for media storage and consider the value of information stored. Multiple copies and proper handling and storage will help extend the lifespan. But there are more things to consider, such as the format of the data and hardware obsolescence. Tape was stated in the original article as the better alternative, but there are additional problems with tape, such as heat, magnetism, vertical storage, other storage concerns, and it must be retentioned periodically. We need to diligently protect the information and not rely on things to remain the same forever.

HarperCollins to digitize 20,000 of its books. Reuters. December 12, 2005.

The publisher plans to digitize 20,000 of its existing books and the several thousand books it publishes each year, in order to protect author’s rights from mass digitization projects. They intend to allow internet search companies to create an index. It is also an attempt to control the number of digital copies of works. "If publishers don't do this, there are going to be too many digital copies of books out there."

Elsevier covers archiving with Portico deal. Mark Chillingworth. Information World Review. 22 December 2005.

Elsevier will deposit over 2000 titles from ScienceDirect in a permanent e-journal archive. It is working with Portico to do this. Portico is the electronic journal archiving arm of JSTOR. This project is part of the national preservation program funded through the Library of Congress. Over seven million articles will be deposited in the archive beginning in January 2006. Elsevier continues to work with the National Library of Netherlands in archiving content.

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