Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Digital preservation: are your materials worth the investment?

The latest issue of D-Lib magazine contains an article on digital preservation. James Currall and Peter McKinney write in the introduction: (my emphasis)
Most work that has described 'sustainable' digital preservation has assumed that the organisation in question will only ask, 'how much?' not, 'why?' The 'why' is the hardest question to answer, particularly when the objects being described are digital and the values derived from them are for the most part intangible. Decision-makers need to have very good reasons to divert resources from primary activities to digital preservation practices, and being able to answer 'why' is more than a matter of saying: 'because it is important'.
The idea is more than just some things aren't worth preserving (even if they are digital), but that the value of the assets will change over time. Some assets may not be worth preserving forever. This is an interesting article. Well written and with good graphs.

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