Expert roundtable on digital preservation

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A discussion held by the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee:

We take paper for granted as a storage medium for knowledge. Libraries, where many of us seek out this knowledge, have evolved over many centuries, enabling us to store and retrieve paper mediums - such as books or journals - reasonably quickly and effectively. Along comes modern technology and information can be stored on a hard disk somewhere, accessible, as with paper based objects, for generations to come. It means we can now visit our libraries from almost anywhere at anytime. And the material we can access from these 'virtual' knowledge centres keeps growing, which is fantastic. We can rest assured that our knowledge heritage is preserved for us in these new technologically enabled electronic formats for future generations. Or is it?

At a recent meeting of Project Managers for JISC’s CSR2 programme, we met up and discussed digital preservation with some leading experts. It seems that there is still little appreciation or understanding of how knowledge, which is now being stored digitally, can or should be effectively preserved for us to use and enjoy in the future.

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