What is Digital Preservation?

At the most basic level, digital preservation refers to the conservation of important objects, artifacts, and documents that exist in digital form. As technology continues to rapidly evolve and new software is propelled into mainstream use nearly every day, continued innovation leads to planned obsolescence for hardware and software, all too often rendering content created with older versions unusable. Universities have vast amounts of electronic media in their collections, and each item of digital content represents a unique challenge from a conservation standpoint. While museums have long employed art historians with specialties in artifact preservation, but to university libraries, it is often a challenge to find professionals who understand preservation from a computer science perspective. Just like ancient objects, digital objects can be fragile and require special care, and the growing dependence on changing technologies puts these digital items at great risk. As universities, libraries, and other organizations start to support and develop processes and resources for digital preservation, a new science and toolset is emerging to support and inform the work.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Migrating from one 'Cloud Service' to another can surface issues of Digital Preservation. Institutions will need to provide archival services that can transcend changes to underlying data structures used by individual cloud services.- fang fang Feb 18, 2013
  • As more and more links are made to external resources in courseware/textbooks etc. to reduce intellectual property concerns the ephemeral nature of such resources is becoming of greater concern. Websites, youtube clips, even journal articles (and entire journals) can disappear without notification until students attempt to access the resource. While internet archives provide a partial solution it is not one that can be systemically relied upon. Some indicator of how long a resource may remain available such as the CC would be of great use in education. - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 19, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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