The following is the rough notes for a talk I gave at the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool. I’ll likely come back later to iron out any kinks in them, but figured I would get them up sooner rather than later so here they are. Thanks to Alison Langmead for the invitation. You can review all the sides here.
Ensuring long term access to digital information sounds like a technical problem; like it could be a problem for computer scientists to solve. If we could only set up the right system we could “just solve it”. Far from it.
I’ve become increasingly convinced that digital preservation is in fact a core problem and issue at the heart of the future of the digital humanities.
In this talk, I will suggest how some issues and themes from the history of technology, new media studies, and archival theory, gesture toward the critical role that humanities scholars and practitioners should play in framing and shaping the collection, organization, description, and modes of access to the historically contingent digital material records of contemporary society. That’s a mouthful. In short, I think there is a critical need for a dialog and conversation between work in the digital humanities and work building the collections of sources they are going to draw from.
This is a broad topic, and I am trying to pull a lot of different strands from different fields together here. So this is going to be less a comprehensive argument and more of a survey, glancing off a range of projects and ideas that point toward the important interconnections that already exist between the digital humanities and digital preservation.