Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Internet content for preservation

Thinking about modern methods of communication this morning, I wondered what would be of use to future family and local historians and thought maybe I am too close in age to their beginnings to be objective in assessing them. Distance brings things into perspective, the dross is easily identified and the nuggets stand out.

The National Library is leaps ahead of me though. They have two methods of preserving the now for later. They select sites and content for preservation and also engage a US firm to troll the Internet for .nz sites and sites that are hosted on NZ computers. This latest content is 6.1 terabytes of data, done in May this year and will be securely held at National Library.

Everything we do has a cost involved and preserving and retrieving information is no exception. The country can't really afford to preserve everything, but digital preservation at least cuts down the cost of physical storage needs and allows the retrieval of information to be comprehensive and accurate. I have a bit of envy for those future historians.

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