Computers in Libraries
Vol. 20, No. 2 • February 2000
When Old Things Become New Again
by Kathy Miller

This has been an interesting issue to put together, since it’s all about archiving and preservation. Remember those words? You heard a lot about them before the “digital revolution” of recent years. Despite new computer technology, the need for archiving and preservation has not gone away. You’ll see proof of that in these pages and you’ll learn about many methods of preservation too.

I’d like to point you especially to a piece titled “Digital Preservation: Everything New Is Old Again.” (This is an interesting twist on my title, above, which I swear I came up with independently!) This is the first installment of a new column, called Coming Full Circle, by Andrew Pace. I think he gives an especially well-rounded (circle—well-rounded—get it?) explanation of present-day preservation. He also discusses five major digital preservation strategies, plus one more that is often overlooked. Can you think of six different strategies? If not, you’d better turn to page 55 and study up.

Our second new columnist, Kim Guenther, premieres on page 48. To start off, she introduces herself and then tells you what sorts of things she’ll be covering in her Building Digital Libraries column. You’ll want to keep an eye on this one! (As you may or may not remember from the November/December 1999 editorial, I explained that Kim’s column will be running half the time, sharing space with Péter Jacsó’s new column, Digital Librarianship. We think that these two new columns will make quite a dynamic duo.)

These pieces by Kim and Andrew are great, but the biggest article that we’re publishing this month about old things becoming new again is our cover story on the University of Kentucky’s Digital Atheneum. People there are taking brittle, burned 10th-century manuscripts; using technology to restore them; and creating a totally new, digital library of these old decaying works of literature. I think the whole project is pretty amazing! From the moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted it in CIL, and now we’re proud to bring you this ultimate story of archiving and preservation.

In our last instance of old meeting new this month, you should know that Computers in Libraries has a new editor. And she just happens to be the old managing editor! Why the change? David Hoffman, who’s been CIL’s editor for 5 years now, has moved up the ladder to the position of editorial director. He’ll be overseeing all of Information Today, Inc.’s periodicals. I, in turn, have moved up to the editor’s chair. So check the masthead to keep pace with the CIL who’s who.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue and learning new things about keeping old stuff. I also hope to see a lot of you—old friends and new—at our annual Computers in Libraries Conference next month.

Kathy Miller, Editor

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