Friday, March 11, 2016

How Digital Storage Is Changing the Way We Preserve History

How Digital Storage Is Changing the Way We Preserve History. Arielle Pardes. Vice. February 19, 2016
     Article starts with an account of a digital diary platform called Oh Life; after the site had been shut down, thousands of archives were deleted and years of personal history were gone.  Digital disappearance like this is a warning sign to historians of problems to come with recording and preserving our history in the digital age. Digital storage is fragile and the files can easily be lost or locked up in encryption. Digital technology might not be around tomorrow, and many of the information storage platforms are owned by private companies, which makes it harder for archival institutions to save them.  Abby Smith Rumsey tried to troubleshoot how to store digital materials in the long-term and discusses concerns and possible future solutions for our digital age.
  • In the digital age, there's a lot circulating in the way of information, but none of it is kept very thoroughly. 
  • Technically, we don't know how to preserve it yet. Even more than that, what do we preserve? How do we know what's valuable?
Entire digital archives can vanish if the storage platform, technology, or software disappears. Many of the websites we use are owned by private companies and individuals do not own the content. We won't know for a while if the content we have saved is valuable in the future. "The more the mind can be freed of certain types of memory tasks, the freer the mind is to engage in other activities that machines cannot do for us."

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