Interpreting the past has long been the province of historians, but reinterpreting it has recently become a concern of conservators. This most powerful, and most controversial, of preservation strategies can demand techniques not found in the traditional conservation lab, from 3d scanning to DNA computing. Several international conferences from Mexico City to Amsterdam recently spotlighted Still Water’s ongoing research into reinterpretation as a means of prolonging or resuscitating the past.
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In 1994 artist Douglas Davis hit upon a surefire way to write a preposterously long sentence. He and his collaborators created a page on what was then a fledgling World Wide Web through which anyone could add words and phrases onto a growing string of HTML. Two decades later, it fell to digital conservator Ben Fino-Radin to restore this landmark of Internet art. He described the process–along with his work to recover the earliest Macintosh icons and manage digital collections at the Museum of Modern Art–in a teleconference this spring with students of the University of Maine’s Digital Curation program.
If you’re over 30, chances are you’ve stumbled on a CD-ROM, game cartridge, or floppy disk in a box that you’d like to access but can’t, because you’ve long gotten rid of the hardware that went with it. Maybe you imagined your local library or museum has been stockpiling vintage Ataris and Mac 512s, but even they will be hard-pressed to keep obsolete hardware running in the long-term.
What if running those old programs were no harder than launching a Web browser? Last week Dragan Espenschied presented this option in a teleconference organized for students of the University of Maine’s Digital Curation graduate program.
Good news for out-of-state and international students interested in the University of Maine’s online Digital Curation graduate program.
The University has extended its long-distance discount to students who enroll in the Certificate by this spring.
Preservation maverick Jason Scott joins the University of Maine’s Digital Curation students this week for a special conversation on emulation, crowdsourcing, and how his Archive Team has saved more of digital culture for posterity than most of the world’s museums put together.
A powerful spokesman for preservation, Scott will be the guest for a Digital Preservation class (DIG 550) that looks at both mainstream and radical strategies for rescuing new media from obsolescence and oblivion. The course is part of an all-online graduate certificate in Digital Curation targeted at librarians, conservators, archivists, and anyone else who has to manage digital files.