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Personal Digital Archives – The Biggest Risk Is You

by Naresh Sarwan on June 14, 2011

This article was discussed on David Rieck’s Controlled Vocabulary group (which anyone involved in the nuts and bolts of Digital Asset Management should be a member of).  Bill Lefurgy from the Library of Congress outlines the process he has taken to archive his personal digital photos.  What is striking reading the article is how the issues Bill describes as a personal archivist transfer directly into those experienced by organisations (both business and not for profit) where the situation is often far worse because of the lack of direct emotional connection with the assets that need to be organised:

As someone long involved with digital preservation, I worry about things like bit rot, failed hard drives, obsolete media and other technological risks. Sobering threats all, but they aren’t the biggest problem facing my personal digital files…Frankly, I am the major issue. Risk correlates directly to the time and attention I allocate to manage the collection. Time to record metadata—significant details about the who, what and where—for each picture; attention to organize files into meaningful categories. The work is seductively easy to defer. It’s easy to assume that all the important details remain safe in my head.” [Read More]

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