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Preservation of and Permanent Access to Electronic Information Resources

By Gail Hodge


The rapid growth in the creation and dissemination of electronic information has emphasized the digital environment’s speed and ease of dissemination with little regard for its long-term preservation and access. To some extent, electronic libraries, that is those libraries that are moving toward provision of materials in electronic form, have been swept up in this attitude as well. Electronic information includes a variety of object types such as electronic journals, e-books, databases, data sets, reference works, and web sites, which are born digital or which have their primary version in digital form. But, electronic information is fragile in ways that traditional paper-based information is not. Electronic information is more easily corrupted or altered, intentionally or unintentionally, without the ability to recognize that the corruption has occurred. Digital storage media have unknown life spans. Some formats, such as multimedia, are so closely linked to the software and hardware technologies that they cannot be used outside these proprietary environments. Aggravating this situation is the fact that the time between creation and preservation is shrinking, because technological advances are occurring so quickly. The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model provides a framework for discussing the key areas that impact on digital preservation – the creation of the electronic information, the acquisition of and policies surrounding the archiving of resources, preservation formats, preservation planning including issue

Year: 2004
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