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March 15, 2009

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Jodi Schneider

Mark, Digitization in and of itself is not preservation. Digital preservation is a challenging field that we don't have much experience with, over the long haul. Let alone certifying materials as unchanged!

For manuscripts, burying them in sand was as likely to preserve them as continual copying. (With less chance of textual corruption.)

A secondary issue, which you imply, but don't address directly, is that digitization has the potential to keep materials in the public eye.

Michael Steeleworthy

@JS, That said, digital preservation remains an incredible tool that can complement all the other methods available to us today. Digitization preserves the content as opposed to the item, but it also improves access to that content for many more users.

I'd sooner see Google spending its wealth of organizational time and resources by helping to digitize more archival documents important to our cultural history as opposed to items still in copyright..

DaleA

Mark - can't agree with you more. That so many libraries still do nothing about scanning their special collections--after the fire in Weimar and the collapse in Cologne, it's all the more clear that the loss of massive collections is not something found only in historical accounts or Eco novels--strikes me as scandalous abdication of what should be one of our core activities.

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