POST: For God’s Sake, Stop Digitizing Paper

Joshua Ranger has written a post on the AVPreserve blog that calls on archivists (and others) to examine their digitization practices and priorities. Arguing that audiovisual materials are in greater danger of obsolescence, Ranger declares, “We should agree to stop digitizing paper and other stable formats for a set period because, in a way, it is bad for preservation.” Though his focus in on audiovisual materials, Ranger draws attention to the underlying rationale for digitization in general. He notes:

[A] lot of digitization work is essentially a wasted effort if it needs to be done again for access, or future preservation work, if files, access portals, metadata, and digital humanities projects are lost. And I’m not just saying lost as in the fretting about the unreliability of digital files, but lost due to human failure in managing servers, migrating data, or letting websites go dead.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Heather Caldwell​, ​Nat Gustafson-Sundell​, Mike Hesson, Jan Lampaert, Heather Martin, Jennifer Millen, Caitlin Pollock, Sarah Prindle, and Chella Vaidyanathan​ (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Zach Coble and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).