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Archive for January, 2013

Preservation Is About Being Prepared For Institutional Failure

Monday, January 28th, 2013

We were excited to see Part 1 of Jonathan Minard’s documentary Archive — a work about the “future of long-term digital storage, the history of the Internet and attempts to preserve its contents on a massive scale” — released the other day. Jonathan is a Fellow at Eyebeam Art & Technology Cente

The Two Questions To Ask For Any Preservation Related Project

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

When I started running again after a short (uhhhh, 10 year) hiatus (man, I wish I had some fun reason for what I was doing in my 20s instead of running to have made it worth it), I didn’t start with running. Working at home on a Masters thesis, every time I had the urge to step away and look in the

Are We Prepared For The Presidential Library Of The (Near) Future?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

One has to assume that a major distrust of the shift to digital reformatting and preservation is the feeling that we’re merely redoing work that will need to be redone again when the next format comes along. This may be especially galling to those who fairly recently reformatted video or film to so

Failure Is a Part of Success

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Earlier this week I attended the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) Annual Meeting (#metrocon13). This year’s meeting — or, technically, last year’s meeting, as it was originally scheduled for the week that Hurricane Sandy landed and was understandably postponed — was an innovative new

Saving And Archiving Are Not The Same

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

In my personal life I actively work against saving things. I actively work because it is difficult to not save. Because the opposite of saving is wasting or over-consumption, and those are amoral or unethical. Because there are many urges and compulsions to save. Because not saving involves making a

Are The Aesthetics Of Decay And The Aesthetics Of Preservation Compatible?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

If decay is a beautiful thing, why are we working so hard to preserve all this archival material?

A facetious statement, perhaps, but an exaggeration that underscores the fact that aesthetics guide many of the decisions we make as archivists and preservationists. We may claim it is for research,