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Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
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The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (For Science) - The Atlantic

The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (For Science) - The Atlantic | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (For Science) The Atlantic ""All of the modern formats weren't really made to last a long period of time," saidFenella France, chief of preservation research and testing at the Library of Congress. "They were really more developed for mass production."

[..]

"And the disappearance of CD players is just as significant as the failure of CDs. "Quite often, [preservation] is being cast as a separation of physical and digital, whereas in fact the whole concept is the same. Even digital is still played on a physical medium."

Karen du Toit's insight:

The problem of obsolescence of formats - especially with regards audio/sound archives! 

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Archivists Race Technology to Save Past Space Research, Records - Newswise (press release)

Archivists Race Technology to Save Past Space Research, Records - Newswise (press release) | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

With billions of dollars of past space research at risk of being lost forever, Dr. Charles Lundquist is running a race against technology and time.

Director of the Interactive Projects Office at The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Research Institute, the 85-year-old Dr. Lundquist spent 40 years in high-level positions with the U.S. Army, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, NASA, and finally the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He officially retired in 1999. Working as a volunteer since then, he spends his time sleuthing for past research from the Army, NASA and private papers, as well as collecting oral histories from NASA retirees and others. All are added to an archive on the ground floor of UAH’s M. Louis Salmon Library, where Anne Coleman is a reference librarian and head of Archives and Special Collections. The archives preserve continued access for future historians, scholars and students.

Karen du Toit's insight:

Archivists racing against time with formats becoming obsolete!

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Death of the cassette tape exaggerated, via News24 & Reuters

Death of the cassette tape exaggerated, via News24 & Reuters | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
The widening gap between the amount of data the world produces and the capacity to store it is giving a new lease of life to the humble cassette tape.

 

"Although consumers have abandoned the audio cassette in favour of the ubiquitous iPod, organisations with large amounts of data, from patient records to capacity-hungry video archives, have continued to use tape as a cheap and secure storage medium.

Researchers at IBM are trying to keep this 60-year old technology relevant for at least the next decade and they are getting help from rising energy costs, which are forcing companies to look for cheaper alternatives to stacks of power-hungry hard drives.

Evangelos Eleftheriou and his colleagues at IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a cassette just 10cm by 10cm by 2cm that can hold about 35 terabytes of data, the equivalent of a library with 400km of bookshelves.

"It is really the greenest storage technology," Eleftheriou told Reuters. "Tape at rest, consumes literally zero power."

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Digital history could be lost forever due to changing devices, says expert

Digital history could be lost forever due to changing devices, says expert | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

BY CLAIRE CONNELLY:

"HISTORIANS will be facing a black hole when it comes to studying the 20th and 21st centuries because much of our digital history is stored on technology that no longer have devices to read them, experts claim.

The information stored on everything from floppy disks to CDs, mobile phones to cameras is at risk of being lost forever, Canadian information security consultant Robert Slade told News Ltd.

"There was a sci-fi story from years ago about how all the knowledge in the universe was put into a huge storage library and then it got lost because nobody knew how to access it," Mr Slade said.

"That is getting to be frightening close to reality."

"It's rather ironic for the 'social media age', n'est ce pas," Mr Slade said. 

Right now, the only solution is to continually transfer information from one device to another as old technologies die and other forms of media take their place.


And don't think cloud storage is a solution. That carries with it all kinds of problems, Mr Slade said.

Cloud service providers can lose, corrupt or make mistakes with data. Even worse, what if the company goes bust?"

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/digital-history-could-be-lost-forever-due-to-changing-devices-says-expert/story-e6frfro0-1226466893848#ixzz25ldicQrI

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Paper vs. Electronic: The Not-So-Final Battle - by Jennifer Wright

Paper vs. Electronic: The Not-So-Final Battle - by Jennifer Wright | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

A common inquiry I receive from Smithsonian staff is whether it is better to keep their files in electronic or paper format.  The best answer to this question is "it depends."  There are several factors to consider.
1)      How long do the files need to be kept?

2)       Does one format have more value than the other?

3)      Is one format easier to use?

4)      In what format are the majority of the records already?

 

Photo: Jeanne Benas, by Strauss, Richard, 1990, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 90-877-11A.

Karen du Toit's insight:

The right questions to ask when deciding about keeping records or archives

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Digital Archiving at the University of York: Some thoughts on pdf/a 3

Digital Archiving at the University of York: Some thoughts on pdf/a 3 | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
RT @Jenny_Mitcham: New blog post: Some thoughts on pdf/a 3: As a digital archivist, I need to keep my ear to the ground with reg... http://t.co/tD34ZtbpWz
Karen du Toit's insight:

Worth looking at when evaluating formats for digital archiving. 

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British Library tracks rise and fall of file formats, by Simon Sharwood

British Library tracks rise and fall of file formats, by Simon Sharwood | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
RT @dhgermany: British Library tracks rise and fall of file formats http://t.co/mKz4Qhyk via @regvulture...

 

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor 


"File formats and the software capable of reading them are living longer than previously thought, according to a British Library and UK Web Archive study.

Formats over Time: Exploring UK Web History (PDF, slides as PDF) considers 2.5 billion files author Andrew N Jackson retrieved with the help of the Internet Archive and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). All the files come from “the UK web domain” and come from the period between 1996 and 2010."

 

"Our initial analysis supports Rosenthal's position; that most formats last much longer than five years, that network effects to appear to stabilise formats, and that new formats appear at a modest, manageable rate.

But he also warns that “a number of formats and versions that are fading from use, and these should be studied closely in order to understand the process of obsolescence.” ®"

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