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Re: [AV Media Matters] definition of 'archival'

I agree, it does "technically" let the manufacturer off the hook, but oh
the poor user, he is left hanging on the end of the hook. In theory
digital preservation works, in practice it doesn't. The ANSI life
expectancy standard should read: "The length of time content is
retrievable in a system". The idea of allowing a misleading standard is
wrong and there should be an effort to correct it.
Example: LE 100. Once AV system providers clearly understand their
retrieval responsibilities, they can decide if their system can meet the
The inherent attributes of film based systems, which store images as
human decipherable objects, are obvious, but if current (digital) and
future technology dependent systems can meet the meet the standard, so be

Russ Burkel

I think Scott Allen's ( Univ. of So. Carolina ) comment last October
stated the problem well. Quote.
" What we have to fight sometimes is an adversarial relationship between
access and preservation--as if all-encompassing ease of immediate access
were so important that it outweighed any long range needs for
preservation. The principal example being certain administration people
who push hard for the panacea  of digital ( they're not sure what kind of
digital, just digital ) while ignoring the fact that we are seriously
under funded on the preservation side of things. i.e., we MIGHT
dramatically increase short term access, but at the cost of both
long-term preservation AND access. While it is possible to have
preservation without access, you can't have long-term access without

On Fri, 29 Jun 2001 11:47:19 -0400 Peter Brothers <lists@specsbros.com>

 -----Original Message-----
>>From: rburkel@juno.com [mailto:rburkel@juno.com]
>>Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 9:43 PM
>>To: AV Media Matters
>>Subject: Re: [AV Media Matters] definition of 'archival'
>>ANSI has had a Life Expectancy (LE) standard for years which nails down
>>the retrieval period in years. Example: LE 100 means the media must last
>>100+ years AND the media content must be retrievable for 100 years. The
>>system manufacturer is required to provide a content access method for
>>100 years.
>>Russ Burkel
>>Analogue Imaging LLC
>Unfortunately, LE as it is defined in relation to Magnetic Media in the
>ANSI/PIMA  standards document IT9.23 is "The length of time that information
>is predicted to be retrievable in the system".  "Predicted to be
>retrievable" as opposed to "must be retrievable" is, admittedly, a little
>wishy-washy.  It "technically" lets the manufacturers off the hook as far as
>any strict requirement to provide a content access method in the future.
>Certainly LE is a better yard stick to use than "archival" but users could
>have a very rude awakening in the future if they assumed it guaranteed
>long-term manufacturer support.
>Peter Brothers
>web-site: http://www.specsbros.com
>SINCE 1983

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