I had the pleasure of speaking with a class taught by Jean-François Blanchette last week. It was such a good experience that I’m getting two posts out of it, in fact. In this one, I want to give some scope to an idea that I mentioned to them in passing. It’s become a standard part of my fundamentals of digital preservation teaching and I think it’s time to give it some air here on the web.
It’s a commonplace to say that we can’t think of digital preservation in the same way we do paper preservation. As someone who thinks about both of these things every day, I contend that the opposite may be true. I find it useful to think about all preservation efforts within a shared theoretical framework and then try to identify the specific technical knowledge required to make that framework sit up and stay forever.