Category Archives: Digital
I have always considered The Internet Archive to be a very interesting space on the web having first encountered it in the late 90s as an intrepid web exploring youth. This effort at Cornell which adapts their collections into a backed up and usable tool intrigued me because it is a prime example of what I think is a main concern with digital content. Digital content is quite easily produced, anyone at a computer terminal can create content in a matter of minutes. With such a low barrier to the creation of content the amount of content created is of course exponential. Essentially the problem becomes one of control – the content amasses so rapidly that there is scant time to provide proper curation and control, due to the sheer volume and also the various types, contexts, and topics which they span. An effort such as this at Cornell utilizes the aggregation and archival that The Internet Archive and its affiliates have established over the past nearly two decades of operation. I see this as a natural partnership for large scale cataloging of publicly created material. One entity to collect it in an organized manner and another entity to refine it into a usable resource that can be utilized beneficially. Without any order The Internet Archive is essentially a snapshot with no context, a piece of data with no metadata, which renders it almost worthless as a tool for study or research.
I was intrigued by this document, not only for it’s relevance to our course topic, but also for my own professional endeavors in dealing with digital content. It is a difficult predicament dealing with digital objects that have been created by other parties, or that have been created before guidelines for their creation have been put in place. Instituting digital curation policies can be difficult if the basis of curation experience is with printed materials exclusively. I was most pleased to see that these policies are updated annually. All to awful guidelines or policy advice for digital curation are somewhat helpful, but woefully outdated. In the fast changing and ever developing realm of digital objects documents such as these must be living documents not static monoliths.
Reference link: http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/nationalagenda/