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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > November 2010

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Vol. 30 No. 9 — November 2010
From Digitization to Digital Preservation
by Dick Kaser

I know that something has had a significant impact on me, when 6 months later I’m still thinking about it.

It was about 6 months ago that I attended a very special symposium in Washington, D.C., on the topic of sustainable digital preservation. The event, culminating a 2-year research initiative, was meant by the investigators to launch a national discussion of the challenges that exist for preserving not only our heritage as a digital culture but our knowledge as a civilization.

As we worked on this month’s issue of Computers in Libraries, I kept thinking back on that meeting and the associated “Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access,” which you can find at

I am proud to say that no topic on our editorial calendar this year garnered more intriguing and compelling proposals than this issue about Digitization on a Mission. We, in fact, got such a wonderful set of proposals that we have decided to continue the theme in our January/February 2011 edition.

In this issue you’ll learn how libraries are helping preserve both public and private documents, open up public access to museum artifacts, and migrate rare and priceless cultural records to digital form.

As Marshall Breeding points out in his column this month, digitization is but the first step in a preservation effort, be it a special, public, or a personal collection. And it is at this point that I come full circle and pause to reflect back upon the work of the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

It is a laudable set of projects that are described in this issue. Now that the curation is done, let us hope that future generations will be able to continue to sustain these collections and keep them viable in their newfound digital form.

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor


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