The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147727   Message #3425762
Posted By: GUEST,Fred McCormick
25-Oct-12 - 05:40 AM
Thread Name: Ruskin College Archive Destruction
Subject: RE: Ruskin College Archive Destruction
GUEST,sturgeon. It might be helpful if you were a little less rude. I'm not an archivist and I'm not scaremongering, but even I know the importance of retaining hard copy originals. EG., how do you check the age of a document once it's been digitised and the original thrown away?

By the same token, how reliable do you think digital media is? Yes, I know all about making backups, but I remember once losing a lot of data through a corrupted hard disk. I thought I had no problem until I checked the backup and found that whatever had corrupted the orginal files had corrupted the backups as well.

And have you ever noticed the rapidity with which software keeps changing? Yes, Ruskin College has doubtless got all the state of the art equipment it needs to read these documents. But what happens at some indeterminate date in the future when someone needs to research them and finds that they can't be read because the equipment upon which they were digitised has become obsolete and replaced?

If you think that's fanciful, the library has a large number of LP records which were donated to them by Peggy Seeger. The last time I looked (which admittedly was sometime ago), they couldn't be played because the library didn't have a turntable!

So whether the stuff has been digitised or not is not the issue. They wouldn't computerise Mappa Mundi and then throw the original to the wolves. Surely the lives and thoughts and feelings of ordinary people are no less important.

Raggytash. Thanks for pointing that out. God knows, I've used Ruskin library often enough in the past.