andrei rodin Andrei Rodin's blog about History and Philosophy of Mathematics

January 11, 2023

Durability of Digital Storages for Archival Purposes

Filed under: — Andrei Rodin @ 12:11 pm

Abstract: A common adage amongst archivists states that we know quite well what to do to preserve physical documents but very little about the same for digital artefacts. Computer science is still a young field for which ‘long term storage’ means 30 years at most, whereas cultural heritage needs to be thought on the scale of centuries. Handling digital materials for such a long scale raises a lot of questions, and some issues can be addressed through technical means (stable DNA storage of digital data, integrity checks with digital signatures and blockchain, etc.). However, there remain social concerns: how to handle intentional alteration, but also how to preserve the understanding of archival materials on longer timescales. This prospective project aims to gather various perspectives such as computer science, history (of mathematics, of computer science), library and archival science and digital humanities on these matters. The main goal is to make an inventory of the issues at stake and to discuss possible solutions during several meetings and a two-days workshop.

PI’s: Andrei Rodin (AHP, UL) and Pierre Willaime (AHP, UL)

Research team: Enka Blanchard (LAMIH, CNRS 8201), Olivier Rouchon (CINES, MESRI), Hala Kassiba (AHP, UL), Laurent Rollet (AHP, UL), Baptiste Mélès (AHP, UL)

The project is supported by MSH Lorraine, see also here.

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