Participating in Digital Archiving seminar

Today I am taking part in the ‘Digiaika talteen’ seminar in the Finnish National Library in Helsinki. At the beginning of this year, a new law came into operation, concerning archiving digital cultural heritage. New kinds of ‘cultural materials’ have existed since the development of first computers, and exponentially when the Internet started connecting people using these digital technologies. We have actually lived sort of ‘digital dark Middle-Ages’ in terms of archiving, since so much of the early history of digital texts, images, games, web pages and other forms of digital expression have already been lost. Now there is at least a law that dictates how everyone, who publishes something in Finnish that is made available to public, is obliged to collaborate with the archivists to provide permanent copies into the National Audiovisual Archive (the old SEA, the movie archive). The job is huge; one estimate is that 50 million pages with c. 2–3 terabytes of data will be gathered in two automatic annual searches.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

4 thoughts on “Participating in Digital Archiving seminar”

  1. This initiative has also its funny aspects. E.g. it is not possible to access the archived copies of National Library from University of Tampere, where I work (you need to go to Helsinki or Jyväskylä for that, I do not know why). It is much easier to use http://www.archive.org/ to look into the history of Finnish Internet. Also, the system for recording copies of all Finnish digital television feeds is great, but again, e.g. http://areena.yle.fi/ is much easier to use for accessing the programs from our national broadcasting corporation channels. The national archive will collect everything sent from the top 10 most popular television channels, plus metadata, including information such as watcher figures (courtesy of Finnpanel). So, promising, but there are also still many remaining questions.

  2. I also did miss some of the concluding remarks (the working groups had many, good ideas and suggestions). The key outcome was the recommendation of having annual seminars to follow the evolution of national digital archive, and to build joint efforts between the archivists, researchers and research & infrastructure funding bodies. Extending the scope of archived areas into dynamic contents (games, internet discussion areas) as well as to archive minor television contents (Youtube etc.) as well as the biggest television and radio channels was also a good suggestion. And thanks Jaakko for interesting presentation on Internet history research. It was pity that there was so little time in the programme.

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