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Re: "Digital Dark Age"



 Prior to discussion of the viability of the various forms of
computerized storage, present and future, comes the problem of getting
information into the computer in the first place.  Scanning is a process
of myriad difficulties (some information can't be scanned at all),
exposes the original material to various degrees of risk, and, finally,
produces information that 1) is not really useful if it hasn't been
tagged for retrieval 2) is not 'archival' because the process of tagging
and digitizing makes the original material subject to manipulation. That
is to say, someone with computer skills can get in and change the data.
That is why many of the projects to put primary documents and materials
on the web are described as making the material 'accessible'.  Please do
not confuse such useful and valueable efforts with archival
preservation.

 Dorothy Africa


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