As Lynne mentioned in her previous post, the entire Digital POWRR team, from all 5 partner institutions, got together for a marathon-style meeting in August. There was angst. There was gnashing of teeth. There was A LOT accomplished! One item on our agenda was to make a laundry list of questions and concerns about digital preservation that we want to ask the members our Advisory Group in October. (If you know one of our Advisors, please do not warn them of this impending onslaught…we are hoping to have them all show up at the meeting!)
These are the questions that are keeping members of our team awake at night!
You see, our team is made up of archivists, curators, historians, and librarians. We are all responsible, in one way or another, to make sure that all objects entrusted to our institutions’ care are protected, preserved, made accessible, and passed safely on to the next generation.
And that includes those pesky digital objects.
You know, the ones that show up at your Archive carefully tucked away inside the deep recesses a 5 1/4″ floppy disc.
Or the ones that are housed inside the hard drive of an author whose family just bequeathed all of her valuable “papers” to your institution. Oh and by the way, she liked to write her papers in EasyWriter and that hard drive is in a 1979 Apple II.
Some of those pesky digital objects that are important to your institution might be in the form of research datasets created by a faculty member on your campus. They are stored on an external hard drive, located in his office, in a proprietary format, and he thinks that because they are digital, they will last forever!
But you know better.
We know better.
And that is why it keeps us up at night.