4 Replies to “Blurred Lines: Redefining the meaning of the word “preservation””

  1. Kerri,

    I really like your comment about digital mediums needing more ‘babysitting’. When I was going through this week’s readings, I got this image in my head of digital files being like pets (of varying degrees of maintenance needs), needing to be properly housed, cleaned, fed, exercised, etc. It may be a weak analogy, but I think it may help describe the ongoing maintenance challenges that digital preservation entails.

    While I agree that there are a series of false dichotomies between analog and digital preservation, the idea that there are not significant differences between the two is belied by the fact that we have an entire class on digital preservation as a distinct subject. However, like you have pointed out, the differences create not a dichotomy but a kind of spectrum, with every material and medium needing different preservation plans and strategies.

    1. Margot,

      I really like your animal analogy! It makes sense, especially considering there are mediums that are so different and require different forms of attention and care. Your point that preservation is a broad spectrum hits the nail on the head. The word dichotomy is a bit extreme considering there are so many overlapping factors between digital and analog preservation. So a preservation spectrum seems like a better way to classify things.

  2. I agree with that opinion that digital mediums need a little more attention (aka babysitting) and in some places it is happening. Over the summer I had the chance to visit Library of Congress Audio-Visual campus at Culpepper, Va. There I learned that the library houses over 2,000 Disney film reels and every few years that will have employees go through every film for preservation/maintains.

    The process of rechecking material across the various format is one aspect of preservation that comes to mind. In a bigger picture, I see preservation as a constantly changing and improving practice. There will never be a single standard or definition.

    1. Sarah,

      I agree that preservation is and never will be a stagnant process. Things will always be changing as technology improves. And like you mentioned, if it’s a specific medium like film, it will always need that constant supervision.

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