Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Learn About Personal Digital Archiving -- A New Guide from the Library of Congress

A new publication from the Library of Congress gives valuable guidance to genealogists in particular about personal digital archiving. The publication is called:

Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Library of Congress 2013.

The importance of this small publication cannot be overestimated. Here is part of the introduction giving an idea of the purpose behind this initiative:
Imagine someone 50 years from now who wishes to study our life in the early twenty-first century. Getting any kind of reasonable understanding will require using born-digital sources: websites, email, digital photographs and a host of other material that exist only in electronic form.  
This means we have to preserve lots of digital information for a long time. Doing this work is, however, fundamentally different that preserving books, papers and other traditional forms of information. Digital content can be hard to capture, difficult to organize and use and prone to going obsolete due to changing technology.

The Library of Congress is attending to its digital holdings to ensure that they remain available over time. This is a critical responsibility for a collecting organization, and requires a good deal of careful planning and attention. Acting now, and continuing to act tomorrow, is essential if digital materials are to carry memories into the future.
We all needed something exactly like this to give us the parameters of the official standards for preservation. This gives me and all of us a place to go to to see the position of the Library of Congress about this important subject.

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