Digital Collections and Preservation

When addressing the issue of Digital Preservation and digital collections, there are many questions at hand. What should we preserve? What is the significance to this object? Will the files just be corrupt in 10 years are are the CD-ROMs and other older medias as the 150,000 of them that are at the Library of Congress?

There are many different arguments and opinions towards the change from analog to digital archiving, and both sides were displayed in the readings of this week. The negative outlook stresses the  issue  of the stability of technology (or more importantly the instability of technology ). The quality of these collections are also in question, seeing as there is not the traditional curatorial guidance involved.  The positives of collecting history through digital archives  is more diverse and inclusive and permit a larger amount of space, which can also be seen as a negative aspect, because managing that amount of space is concerning to scholars. Especially in Why Collecting History Online is Web 1.5 ,Sheila A Brennan and T. Mills Kelly you see both the pros and cons of a digital collection in the making. The HDMB project had become more work than expected, had exceeded the time allowed by their grant funding, and revealed technical and issues that had left the site still under the creators expectations.  The process revealed that digital collections have to not only have quality content, the right marketing tools for visitor attraction, an easy interface so users will not give up and move on from the site, and of course trust from the visitors so they will share their stories.

The inclusive and diverse aspects of digital collections  is really beneficial to the preservation of history. The more diversity and knowledge we can attain from the people involved in/with the things we are trying to preserve, the more well we can learn from them, and in a more well rounded way.

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