ASIST 2011: Day One: Preservation-the final frontier?

Tom Wilson is giving the plenary lecture today.

He highlights (using the ol’ Ozymandias poem) that what we have from other cultures was not usually intended to be found. Our impressions are mostly made from things that were never supposed to be found (using King tut’s tomb paintings as an example). Often the things we’ve discovered are things that were thrown away (most archaeologists love a good garbage pile).

Wilson emphasizes the need to consider preservation in our current environment because of the lack of durability of the information we’re creating. It’s been discussed for quite some time that our excessive variety of filetypes will be difficult for preservation. Often preservation of digital objects is about updating and file transfers. “Intelligbility” is an important element. Language changes, particularly labels for things that no longer exist whether it be an object or a profession, we may need to consider explaining some of these things more in depth.

Here’s the project he’s been working on:

One of the suggestions of preventing the need for perpetual file transfers, computers of the future will be able to “emulate” the file preparation. Which is already being done by a group.


Sorry to be so brief, internet is thin on the ground at this conference. More updates later.


One response to “ASIST 2011: Day One: Preservation-the final frontier?

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