Archives and Manuscripts Week 11

This week for class we discussed digital records and their management.

This was an important topic because of the growing use of digitize as well as the increasing reliance on born digital records. Thus understanding the preservation and access issues with these types of records will become more important as technology advances. One of the main readings was Roy Rosenzweig’s :Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era,” in which he issued a call to arms to historians to take a more practice approach to dealing with digital records. Rosenzweig stressed that both archivists and hisotrians need to work together to preserve web-based records, since they can easily be lost due to changing technology. One example of this type of work as the Internet Archive, which while able to presever large parts of the internet, Rosenzweig was concerned about since they are a private company and not a public institution. Nevertheless, projects like the Internet Archive are important because they are starting the process of saving digital records for the long-term.

One of the major discussing in class was on the concerns over archiving digital records. A major reason is over cost of storage since it needs to be migrated every 3 to 5 years due to changing technology that would render the platform it is on unreadable. FUrthermore, In terms of digitization projects, these pose their own problems such as copyright concerns.. Indeed, since scanning, cataloging, and preservation, these projects also have major funding concerns and many smaller archives can only digitize material if the donors fund it or if they can receive grant money. On a whole, digital records are an important new aspect of archives that archivists need to stay on top of in order to make sure these imnportant records are persevered just as paper records have been.

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