ERIC Number: ED352973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Preservation of New Technology. A Report of the Technology Assessment Advisory Committee to the Commission on Preservation and Access.
Intended to stimulate discussion rather than present solutions, this report summarizes how digital technology applies to preservation problems beyond the preservation of print materials. Specifically it describes the problems new kinds of media such as audio and videotape and computer disks pose to librarians and archivists in terms of long-term storage, the varieties of physical format, and the short life of the reading devices. It is suggested that, since the machines to read specific types of tapes and disks become unavailable even before the materials themselves deteriorate, digital preservation depends upon copying rather than the survival of the physical media. New media formats are then discussed both as a problem and as a solution, and the types of formats available in digital form are considered, including audio, video, images of pages, gray scale or color images, text, and numerical data. How to do conversion is then addressed, and issues involved in maintaining computer-based archives are considered. Problems posed by copyright rules are discussed, and four steps that can be taken by librarians and archivists to deal with preservation in the new technological context are suggested. The economic implications of digital preservation efforts are discussed, and the report concludes with a message for librarians in the digital world--(1) preservation means copying and this must be budgeted as a cost; (2) much technical knowledge is involved so cooperation is important; (3) coordinated computer-based archives should be developed, research conducted on conversion technology, and standards developed; and (4) librarians should coordinate with others having the same problems and looking for the same solutions. A list of computer-based archives currently in operation is appended. (ALF)
Descriptors: Archives, Audiodisks, Audiotape Recordings, Books, Computer Software, Computer Storage Devices, Copyrights, Digital Computers, Films, Nonprint Media, Preservation, Videotape Recordings
Commission on Preservation and Access, 1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 740, Washington, DC 20036-2117 ($5 prepaid).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission on Preservation and Access, Washington, DC.