Hi! I’m Leigh Plummer, a second semester MLIS student focusing on academic libraries and digital curation. I currently work in the Preservation department at UMD and as a graduate student assistant with the Humanities and Social Science Librarians. This past summer, I interned at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working to inventory their 16mm film collection for eventual, potential digitization. All of these experiences have helped develop my interest in digital preservation. About 50% of my Preservation job is spent preparing collections for digitization. I work with digital collections as a graduate student assistant. I have been curious about how decisions about what and when collections are digitized or made available to the general public are decided.

The initial readings were not what I expected for this course. I was surprised to see someone from Google saying that there would come a period where everything digitally saved will be lost. This surprised me because when I think of Google and digital preservation, I think more of Google Drive, and specifically Google Photos. Yet here we see a representative of a commercial company essentially telling people to no longer rely on the company. Compare that to the two “Issues and Advocacy” posts, where archivists were pointing out that this has been a known problem for years. More, there are skilled and knowledgeable professionals working to combat and mitigate this problem. I found Tansey’s claim that digital preservation tools are employed to help the powerful and are therefore counter to the cause of social justice to be misguided. Items chosen for digital preservation are chosen by people with biases, but that does not mean that these decisions are made to support a denigration of minorities. Rather, I think that digital preservation projects can highlight both the forgotten voices and the voices of various resistances.

One Reply to “Introduction”

  1. Hi Leigh,
    You raise a good point about Cerf’s prediction. Where is that Google optimism? If Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” it seems that we should be counting on them to avoid the dark age, right? If you glance at Google’s blog (–can’t seem to make that link live, sorry–at the time of his “hiring,” you see that his title is/was “Chief Internet Evangelist.” I guess he’s in the fire and brimstone tradition.

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