December 5, 2006

PoM Keynote: Preservation in the Age of Google

NEDCC Preservation of Memory Conference
Speaker: Paul Conroy, University of Michigan

Lyman & Varian, "How Much Information", 2003


Responsible Custody
Preservation & Usability
[...] different things to different people

= the company & what it does
= the cultural metaphor
* Instant gratification
* Simple
* Anonymous, unmediated
* "Essentialness of Digital Content"
* Rip, Mix & Burn: Repurposing digital content & sharing it
* Provides source material for new forms of scholarship

Waters & Garrett, "Preserving Digital Information", 1996

Levy, "Scrolling Forward", 2001 (response to above)

ACLS, "Our Cultural Commonwealth", 2006; Cyberinfrastructure vs Deep Infrastructure

Integrity to OAIS as a common international language (and ISO standard)

Trusted archive to certification - must be multifaceted

In this age of Google, how do we communicate trust?

Conway, "Preservation in the Digital World", 1996
- basic preservation principles endure

Environmental storage, reformatting, R&D, leadership & advocacy
- ARL has endorsed digitization as a preservation technique

Dilemmas for Preservation
- Is it really that complicated? (Yes!)
* Expense
* Frequent interventions
* Format obsolescence
* Long time frames
* Instant access
* Faithful reproduction

- Success with enfironmental control: Is it actually working to our detriment?

- What difference are we really making? (are we seeing the uses & impacts we expected?)

- Back side of Moore's Law (as technology gets cheaper, people get more expensive)

- History ends in 1923 (copyright issues)

- Market Share

What is the way forward?

- Embrace the all-digital world
- Demand national action
- Partnerships!
- Support the online community
- Choose cost effectiveness
- Evaluate & report in a timely manner!

Prediction: We are heading for a total, digital heritage (backed by environmentally managed paper collections).

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