Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Chasing the Digital Dragon

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Chasing the Digital Dragon

Article excerpt

Over the past few years, it's been fascinating to watch as museums and archives follow in the footsteps of libraries by digitizing and providing access to their collections, which have otherwise been available only to a few, often wearing surgical gloves.

The digitization of library collections, coupled with the development of the internet and the deployment of new discovery tools, has resulted in a renaissance of information sharing. Similarly, the opening up of the contents of archival shoeboxes and museum specimen bottles has created a new age for not only scholars but for an entire global population of inquisitive people.

As archivist Jan Zastrow remarks in her guest column this month, there are still ways that archives and libraries are different, but they share many common interests and concerns when it comes to digitization, preservation, and access.

In managing my own computer files over the last couple of decades, I've seen firsthand the challenges inherent in keeping digital materials accessible for even a short length of time. …

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