Tuesday, April 15, 2008

by Brian F. Lavoie, OCLC Online Computer Library Center

A few years ago my colleague Lorcan Dempsey and I wrote an article entitled "Thirteen Ways of Looking at ... Digital Preservation" [1] (the title being a shameless re-working of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", a well-known poem by Wallace Stevens). Our purpose was to present a more nuanced view of digital preservation than one typically found in the literature, conferences, and community discussion springing up around the topic. At that time, digital preservation was often characterized as a discrete activity that could be segregated from, or tacked onto the end of, the digital life cycle; the primary obstacle to be overcome was the development of technical strategies, like emulation and migration, to stave off the twin evils of bit rot and technological obsolescence.

In the article, we acknowledged the importance of the technical imperatives of digital preservation, but argued that there was more to consider. We suggested thirteen different yet intertwined perspectives one can take on the digital preservation problem, with the implicit message that successful digital preservation activities will likely have to accommodate most if not all of them.

Go to Source: http://www.dlib.org/