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


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


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

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