Category Archives: digital preservation

my first publication: “Preserving Digital Cultural Heritage: A Call for Participatory Models”

A few months ago at Hack Library School, I wrote a post about my experiences on both sides of the peer-review journal process.  I’m happy to share that a paper I originally wrote for my preservation management class was published in Library Student Journal this month.  If you get a chance, I would love for you to read it and share feedback!

Additionally, I’m slowly writing a paper mentioned previously on historical archivists of color.  Due to time and resource restraints, the paper definitely won’t delve into many of the issues I wanted to look into — but it’s a start to what will hopefully turn into a long-term research project.

I also just returned from the 2nd Annual Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) and hope to write up some thoughts on that experience soon.


why digitization is not digital preservation

A huge pet peeve of mine is when people use the terms digitization and digital preservation interchangeably, so I thought I’d explain the differences. If you only remember one thing from this post, it should be that digitization IS NOT digital preservation.

Digitization is the reformatting of analog materials to a digital format. For example, scanning a photograph and saving it as a jpg file is digitization. Scanning a page from a diary and saving it as a pdf is digitization. Digitization does not always occur for the purpose of preservation.  Materials are digitized for a variety of reasons, such as to provide access to people in different geographical areas, to provide simultaneous access to the same unique content, to provide access to material that’s too fragile to handle often, or to create a copy for a researcher.

Digital preservation is ensuring the long-term access of digital materials over time, including both analog materials that have been digitized and born-digital materials. Born-digital materials are items that were originally created in a digital format (e.g. Microsoft Word document, email, Photoshop file). For analog materials, digital preservation can only occur after digitization.

Think about computer hardware, software, and file formats that are now obsolete. Can you still open that content? Is it still functional? That’s what digital preservation is about — making sure that you still can, and making sure that all those digital materials you’re creating today are still accessible in 5, 10, 50 years! There are numerous strategies for digital preservation — to name a few, migration, emulation, and refreshing — but no one’s got it all figured out (yet).

It’s important to distinguish between these two concepts because digitization does not encompass born-digital materials, and you’d be leaving out a huge amount of material if digital preservation only concerned analog materials that were digitized. Additionally, digitization is not focused on providing long-term access to digital materials.

Does that make sense?


Posted by on October 7, 2011 in digital preservation



hyping links

Freedom Riders
I love PBS!  You can stream the entire Freedom Riders documentary online.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to this weekend.  The film weaves together archival footage and contemporary interviews with former riders.  If you’re not ready to commit to watching the entire film yet, check out the trailer.

This blog shares resources on preserving and managing electronic records and is updated quite frequently.

Support Hyatt Workers at SAA2011: An Unofficial Resource
If you’re concerned about the labor disputes occurring at the site of this year’s SAA Annual Meeting, view this website for ways to support Hyatt workers.  Also, please contribute if you have any ideas!


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e-journal digital preservation: to read list

CC image courtesy of Mot on Flickr

I’m in the process of researching digital preservation of e-journals for a side project, so I thought I’d share some of the things I plan on reading.  I’m only listing items that are open access, so my real list is much longer.  If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!