Library of Congress and Digital Preservation

beSpacific points us to a U.S. Library of Congress site about the problem of digital preservation. Well worth a visit by anyone who creates or stores digital records, not only librarians.

One of the things that interested me was the statistic that the “average” website lasts somewhere between 44 and 100 days — yet another reason to crow that Slaw is not your average website. The LOC says, in that regard, “Fortunately, the Library is now collecting political Web sites as part of its digital preservation program.” Note the bias that “politics” is the most important matter. Why not fiction, or science or any other broadly based social activity?

world_digital_library.jpgAnd I found a reference to the World Digital Library — I don’t believe we’ve referred to it before on Slaw — which turns out to be a relatively recent initiative of the LOC. At this point there’s not much beyond a fancy video setting out “the vision.” But the LOC has the clout to carry through, and so we can expect something good to develop here. It might, also, be an idea for Google, Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive, and other wide-ranging gatherers to join the dozen or so libraries that have teamed up with the LOC to make this happen.

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