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Re: [AV Media Matters] Long-term presentation: digital

I think the general tone of desperation about the state of archival
digital options is not entirely warranted. I just heard a
presentation at MCN in Las Vegas by Dave Wilson, Eastman Kodak,
Image Permanence Institute, and basically the gist of it was that
the so-called "human decipherable objects" as represented by all
kinds of different film media have a fairly short lifespan, too. It
sounded to me like in order to ensure their longevity, analog media
has to be managed and cared for (climate control etc) with a
comparable amount of vigilance as their digital brethren (refreshing
to new storage medium & migration to new file formats).

If we despair, let's despair about the fact that nothing can be
saved for eternity, neither analog nor digital information :-).
Stone slabs may have the best shot at survival in the long term -
however, in my mind, an archive's, library's or museum's mission is
to achieve a happy medium between preservation and access. Stone
slabs seem to rate fairly poorly from that perspective. Compare the
possibilities of access to a stone slab with the possibilities of
access to a networked digital resource, and I think you'll be very
hard pressed to make the stone slab argument again. Over the course
of the long lifespan of the stone slab, how many select few people
will be able to see it as compared to the potentially unlimited
number of people who'll have access to the digital resource in its
admittedly shorter lifespan?

I think a cautious assessment of the lifespan of any digital
resource is definitely warranted. However, the more I learn about
the preservation of physical objects, the less inclined I am to
panic over the challenges of the digital medium.

Anyway, just my little rant on the general topic of conservation in
the digital realm. If you weren't enlightened, I hope you were at
least entertained :-)


>Mike said:
><< Perhaps we need to start carving bits into stone slabs or clay tablets.
>I already suggested this and got no takers.  I believe the density has to
>improved before archivists will buy into a new technology like this.
>Jim Wheeler
Guenter Waibel
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Digital Media Developer http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/
Digital Imaging SIG Chair, MCN http://www.mcn.edu/visig_subscribe.taf
Phone 	510-643-8655
=46ax 	510-642-4889

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