Editors’ Choice: The Collection and the Cloud

In the future, will platforms own our pasts?

In February 2015, computer scientist Vint Cerf, known widely for developing the TCP/IP internet protocol standard, gave a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley branch campus in which he spoke of a coming “digital dark age.” This sound bite was subsequently picked up by the BBC and made the rounds on wire services, and was forwarded and tweeted in digital-preservation circles. Cerf, who holds the title of “chief Internet evangelist” at Google, warned about the incipient reality of lost and incomplete digital archives. “Figuring out how to hang on to things is important,” Cerf argued earnestly. “We don’t have a standard way of hanging on to the software as well as the disks.” …

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Lisa Rhody based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Roger L. Martínez-Dávila, Eileen Clancy, Maria Manuel Borges, Kevin Gunn, Lynn Harding, Benjamin Zweig, Stephanie Vasko, Jeanne Gillespie, Joshua Schooler, Allison Millward, Myriam Mertens, and Nickoal Eichmann