Posted to the Ethnos Project by on January 18th, 2012


While the complex issues concerning the protection and preservation of digital assets are better understood by the information professions, there is still much thinking required about the preservation and protection of the new wave of citizen-created content.

Traditionally information professionals in all types of memory institutions have clearly met the need for, and nature of, the preservation activities around formal and authoritative knowledge services and systems. However, informal, citizen-created knowledge activities are far less straightforward in terms of preservation. These activities arise and evolve as individual citizens develop as authors, content creators, thought leaders, filmmakers, blog diarists, etc. There is at present an extraordinary unleashing of content creation by individual citizens.

This development challenges established organisational systems and professional practice in an unprecedented way. This paper outlines some of the issues involved in the preservation of digital assets in this new environment. It explores how all memory institutions including archives, galleries, museums and libraries in particular, can value and protect a country’s digital assets in both the formal and informal arena.

About the Author

Penny Carnaby is the former National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Wellington, New Zealand.

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