What is Time Based Media Conservation?

Time-based media conservation refers to the conservation of important objects, artifacts, and documents that exist in digital form. As technology continues to rapidly evolve and new software is propelled into mainstream use nearly every day, continued innovation leads to planned obsolescence for hardware and software, all too often rendering content created with older versions unusable. Educational institutions have vast amounts of electronic media in their collections, and each item of digital content represents a unique challenge from a conservation standpoint. While institutions have long employed art historians with specialties in artifact preservation, but to university libraries, it is often a challenge to find professionals who understand preservation from a computer science perspective. Just like ancient objects, digital objects can be fragile and require special care, and the growing dependence on changing technologies puts these digital items at great risk. As universities, libraries, and other organizations start to support and develop processes and resources for time-based media conservation, a new science and toolset is emerging to support and inform the work.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, research, or creative inquiry?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?