Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Perpetual Archives

The sort of folks who read this blog will not, I fear, be the sort of folks who'll be able to make head or tail of this article. Me, I didn't even try very hard. Yet the beginning and end are actually quite intriguing. If the author is correct, sometime soon - say, a decade or three - it will be possible, feasible and perhaps even plausible to put the entire archival collections of the ISA, including all the as yet uncreated documentation of the entire 21st century, into a cabinet-sized box which will then retain the data in a stable form for the next 1,000 years, or 10,000. Long after the last vestiges of our paper documents will have degraded into dust, the cabinet with the digital versions will still be sitting under someone's desk, or in a basement, or hopefully in a cozy purpose-built cave, waiting for someone to request to see the film of that football game in 1935.

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