Born Digital 2016: promoting digital preservation and 25 years of life on the web

(29 July 2016) NSLA libraries are set to launch Born Digital 2016 and the inaugural digital preservation week – raising awareness of the importance of preserving digital content for the public good and as a record of 21st century history – 25 years to the week since the first public website went live. The week-long event is an initiative of the Digital Preservation project.

Beginning Monday 8 August, the National and State libraries of Australasia will host local and online activities that explore questions about collecting and preserving digital content and examine the technical, social and philosophical questions of our digital lives.

Throughout the week each library will promote the Born Digital series of video interviews with experts in a range of disciplines from astronomy to gaming to journalism, as they discuss the profound importance of digital preservation to their work.

Sarah Slade, Digital Preservation project manager, said, ‘Since the internet went public 25 years ago the volume of digitally created material has expanded exponentially and replaced a huge number and variety of physical records.

‘We have more information today than at any other point in history but it is more fragile than we imagine. There are 1,000-year-old books that can still be easily read but how many of your 25-year-old floppy disks can you still use?

‘Libraries take this very seriously and are working hard to ensure this information doesn’t disappear, but it is much a social issue as an institutional one – everyone must think about their information and what they are doing to make sure it isn’t lost.’

NSLA libraries currently store 5 petabytes of digital information which, if stored on 3.5″ floppy disks commonly used 25 years ago, would stretch around the Earth 8.3 times. This amount of data is vast but it is nothing to what will exist in five or 10 years from now.

‘Being diligent about our digital information now means we won’t have an information crisis in 10, 50 or 100 years from now,’ said Sarah.

The announcement is here.