Scenario

What if... we forgot?

Public record and collective memory in the digital age

accountability | memory | know-how | experience | curation | cost | option value | access

Digitising our past

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Fragile, irreplaceable film, photographs, magnetic tapes, and audio files held in Australia's National Archives are at imminent risk of destruction, due to ageing and chemical degradation. A 2020 Report by the Department of Finance Secretary, David Tune, estimates it would cost $67m allocated over seven years to the digitise and stabilise these valuable records. Source: Monash University, June 2021

Rescuing our present

As the Great Barrier Reef faces its biggest challenge, 77-year-old scientist, Charlie Veron, has an ambitious rescue plan: he is collecting the 400 species of coral on the Great Barrier Reef to preserve in a "coral ark" or biobank. Could it be the solution to future-proofing the reef?
Source: ABC Australian Story, October 2021

Foreseeing change

Flash

Journalism is often considered the first draft of history, but what happens when that draft is written on a software program that becomes obsolete? Adobe ending support for Flash in 2020 meant that some of the news coverage of the September 11th attacks and other major events from the early days of online journalism are no longer accessible.
Source: CNN Business, September 2021

3 Comments

  • QUESTION 1 – WHAT TYPE OF RECORDS (PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE) ARE WORTH PRESERVING IN YOUR FIELD/DISCIPLINE? WHY?

    isabel
  • QUESTION 2 – HOW COULD A GREAT ARCHIVE ASSIST RESEARCH? (E.G. DISCOVERY, ANALYSIS, EVIDENCE)

    isabel
  • Some comment“In a historical moment where speed and dynamism prevail […] archiving has taken on new importance even in areas where it was not previously relevant. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the largest and safest seed deposit on the planet, while the Arctic World Archive is a vault created with the aim of preserving the world’s digital heritage.”From: The Future of Collective Memory (2020)As discussed, I love this one as retaining ‘collective memory’ is a critical challenge for any age (except the Dark Age!). I really like the two examples you have given to prompt what else might be sensible. I would like to see ‘public accountability’ (of government) mentioned in this short description…and I think there is also potential for something about ensuring industry retains its ability to make use of past knowledge/experience – might need others to suggest something here (engineering problem re bridges starting to fall down again or ships falling apart from previously understood forces or something)? (‘fail to learn history..condemned to repeat it’ etc)

    Other Isabel

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