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Geoffrey Brown to present on Long-Term Access to Born-Digital Materials at ERRT session
April 13th -- Enabling Long-Term Access to Born-Digital Materials on CD-ROMs: Migration, Emulation, and Imperative to Pool Technical Knowledge
Session Leader: Geoffrey Brown, Professor of Computer Science at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
Description: For the past 20 years, CD-ROMs have been the primary media for distributing key economic, scientific, environmental, and societal data as well as educational and scholarly work. Indeed, 10,000's of titles have been published including thousands distributed by the United States and other governments. Yet no viable strategy has been developed to ensure that these materials will be accessible to future generations of scholars. In the short term, these materials are subject to physical degradation which will make them ultimately unreadable and, in the long-term, technological obsolescence will make their contents unusable.
The diaries of H.R. Haldeman, Richard Nixon's chief of staff, were published in their entirety on CD-ROM, but only in abridged form on paper. References by Haldeman to Mark Felt, who was unveiled as the Watergate source, appear only on the CD-ROM version. This CD-ROM no longer operates in modern Windows environments, but can be accessed, with some effort, in an emulation environment. In other cases, the files on a CD-ROM can still be accessed, but may be in obsolete formats. Finally, many publications of government agencies are available only for local use in a few libraries.
I will discuss two aspects of our work in digital preservation – the creation of a browsable networked archive of the approximately 5000 CD-ROMs published by the United States Government Printing Office, and the development of emulation technologies to enable future scholars ready access to materials such as the Haldeman diaries.
The goals for this roundtable are to discuss the limits of the available technological solutions, the social implications their implementation, and the legal constraints on deploying them.
Location: 341 LISB
Kam Woods and Geoffrey Brown. Creating Virtual CD-ROM Collections
Stuart Granger. "Emulation as a Preservation Strategy".
Copyright Law Section 108