POST: What’s a Nice English Professor Like You Doing in a Place Like This: An Interview With Matthew Kirschenbaum

Trevor Owens has posted a terrific interview with Matt Kirschenbaum (Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities). In it, they discuss his involvement in the digital archives and digital forensics communities, the hurdles that born digital materials create, BitCurator, and places like MITH “as inhabiting a kind of ‘third space’ between manuscript repositories processing born-digital collections on the one hand, and computer history museums on the other.”

Regarding what practices to adopt for working with born digital materials in the long-term, Kirschenbaum notes that in some cases the problem is not primarily technical:

[T]he increasing tendency towards preemptive data encryption—practices which will surely become even more commonplace in the wake of recent revelations—threatens to make archival preservation of personal digital content all but unthinkable for entities who lack the resources of the militarized surveillance state. I know of very little that archivists can do in either of these instances other than to educate and advocate (and agitate). They are societal issues and will be addressed through collective action, not technical innovation.


dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jolie Braun, Trevor Muñoz, and Saskia Scheltjens (Editors-at-Large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), and Zach Coble, Caro Pinto and Sarah Potvin (dh+lib Review Editors).