Thursday, November 19, 2015

Old formats, new challenges: preservation in the digital world

Old formats, new challenges: preservation in the digital world. Kevin Bunch. C & G News. November 13, 2015.
     Without proper preservation, digital materials are going to degrade and become useless. Digital preservation is "basically coming up with policies and procedures to address mostly the obsolescence that happens with digital content. We know file formats die, we know operating systems and platforms die at some point, so how do we sustain this digital content through time?” In addition to hardware and media failing, there are also difficulties in reading old formats. Archivists generally try to convert files from on old format to an “open” format that will hopefully be in use for some time into the future. Some people work at converting analog media, like audio and video recordings, to open digital formats. It can be challenging as older equipment is outdated and fails. Analog magnetic media formats like VHS and audio cassettes are also "at an ever-increasing risk of deterioration, especially those from the 1980s or 1990s, and should be digitized as soon as possible".

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