What is the chemistry of digital preservation?

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

If we know our collections at the elementary levels, we can be better equipped to care for these collections, to design preventive preservation techniques, to perform conservation treatments when necessary, and to ensure the long-term accessibility of our records in the face of continued technological obsolescence and change.

Reading In: Analyzing Embedded Metadata in Digital Images

Monday, July 6th, 2015

When the news came out about accused South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof’s website and the photographs that had been posted there, I visited the site and downloaded […]

The 100 Year Lie And The Lay Of The Shelf

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

*Thanks to Kevin Driedger for the inspiration here (and shout out) in his blog post “Time & Media” over at Library Preservation 2.

One of my mantras about media collections and moving from the analog to the digital realm is the fact that reformatting is a necessary component of audiovisual pr

Three Views Of Digital Preservation

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

I worked on a large inventory project with a group of media production units in the Department of Defense a few years ago. We were at one of the storage facilities and a shipment of albums that had been on a base in Spain came in that day. As we were opening one of the couch-sized boxes to get an es

Why Do We Look Past The Complexities – And Shortcomings – of Film?

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Media preservation is an imperfect art. In the end, it is about maintaining a faithfulness to the original image/signal/presentation, within the confines of what is possible as impacted by condition of the original, existing technology, desired use, and (shhh) budget. There are options for reformatt

Materialism, Morality and Media Culture

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013


Film buffs know what this means. As in One Word. As in selling out one’s soul to live the life of a corporate middleman. As in a lifetime of creating cheap, soulless, synthetic replicas formed from deadly chemicals.

Film (and other media) buffs also ought to know what this means on a

Preservation Is Not A Format

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

An aphoristic interpretation in 10 parts

1. Authorial intent is, for all practical purposes, bunk. It presupposes, fallaciously, either the existence of the singular creator, or the total achievability of an artistic vision.

The former is false because it is a figment of the artist’s imaginati

Is Hoarding an Archival Activity?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

When I first moved to New York I lived in the Brooklyn Chinatown section of Sunset Park, an approximately 20 block long area sandwiched between a largely Hispanic section of the neighborhood and the primarily Hasidic Boro Park neighborhood. On my block was a small Indian bodega (which I’m guessing i

Are Archives Not Deaccessioning Enough?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

At the Spring MARAC meeting during a panel on digital preservation, a presenter showed a slide of a Post-it note adhered to an inaccessible disc that said “Save in case of miracle.” In archiving we are constantly faced with the decision (or non-decision) point of saving a decayed/corrupted original

Don’t Kill The Carrier Part 1 — The Digital Dilemma is a Communication Problem not a Format Problem

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

My first experience with 16mm home projection was during a sleepover at a classmate’s home. I was 7 and at the time in a private school in southern Oregon, which meant my classmate A) either lived in town or in an even smaller town somewhere within a 50 mile radius (it was the latter), and B) that h