Data: Save or Delete?

The practice of preserving data, in the context of the web, would be creating a digital archive of non-digital materials for the use of public access. The practice of curating data is the decision making of process of determining and grouping together what materials will be archived and the maintenance of said materials as long as they stay relevant. The practice of aggregating data is the collection of data that do not necessarily fall under one theme or category.

Some of the tensions within digital archiving include deciding what information is considered valuable and should be kept, and the idea of public availability verses intellectual property rights. In “Thirteen Ways of Looking at…Digital Preservation”, the solutions for these issues include a “save now, preserve later” selection process, and persuading or enjoining with the content provider to preserve the materials in their custody or convince the content provider to surrender rights to another party that would be willing to preserve materials for them.

My preferred media of preserving family history is cinematography and photography. I like to edit and archive the memories by creating short films and posting them to YouTube to be able to share with immediate friends and family. Most of the time, the clips are set as montage with music overlaying on top of the audio so the viewer doesn’t get specifics but can still experience some of event. If it’s a family trip or reunion, I tend of obsessively film everything because I don’t trust my memory to retain everything. I usually keep my short films as a closed collection but I’m not opposed to input for song selections. Within my editing process, I watch the clips I have and determine if they are framed properly and are in focus. More often that not, if they pass that mini-checklist, they are included.

Criteria that archivists use to determine which materials or websites should be preserve should include where the information came from, who collected the information, and how accurate is the information given. The way the sites should be archive depends on the type of content on the site. If the sites are older, saving them in a public cache system seems like it would be effective. Education systems have databases for scholarly journals and articles. If there was a way to create databases for research, that would be incredible useful.

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