We must stop preserving digital material and start curating it

When Data Disappears
But that doesn’t mean digital preservation is pointless: if we’re going to save even a fraction of the trillions of bits of data churned out every year, we can’t think of digital preservation in the same way we do paper preservation. We have to stop thinking about how to save data only after it’s no longer needed, as when an author donates her papers to an archive. Instead, we must look for ways to continuously maintain and improve it. In other words, we must stop preserving digital material and start curating it.


This is what happens with the subversion of professional language —

The answer does not lie with "curation" and never did. Archivists have long practiced what is called "appraisal" as a part of processing collections. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archival_appraisal . . .

But I guess "appraisal" just doesn't have the social media cachet and sexiness of saying "curation."

(Now get off my lawn!)

It was an interesting article, but I hope the reason why it showed a lack of knowledge about what many libraries and archives are really doing with digital (and for that matter print)* preservation is because the professor who wrote it was trying to write for an audience. Otherwise, maybe he should go talk to some people that are actually doing digital preservation. If this is what his lectures and classes teach, I'd want a refund of my tuition.

* If print archives were about "data only after it’s no longer needed" why would we even have them? Does he really think archives just take every little thing thrown at them and preserve all this unneeded data because they are bored?

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