Library of Congress

Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Law and Orderly Preservation

August 9, 2010 -- A title like "Beyond Wayback: Preserving Born-Digital Ephemera," might mystify most, but it was a magnet for attendees at the American Association of Law Libraries annual conference (external link) in Denver, CO, on July 12.

The session attracted 200 librarians struggling with, as the session description stated, "new forms of digital content that are often transient, with no permanent home, promise of preservation, or even plan for long-term data storage." Bill LeFurgy of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program participated on the session panel. 

The other panelist was Jean-Gabriel Bankier, president of the Berkeley Electronic Press (external link). The panel leader was Richard Leiter, host of the Law Librarian Blog Talk Radio Show (external link)

he Big Blue Bear Peers into the Colorado Convention Center during the AALL Annual Meeting.

The Big Blue Bear Peers into the Colorado Convention Center during the AALL Annual Meeting.

A wide-ranging discussion about the scope of the digital preservation challenge took place, and featured an overview of available tools and practices. LeFurgy talked about the work of NDIIPP and its partners, as well as about specific Library of Congress preservation efforts, including the recent move to acquire the Twitter archive.  He also weighed in during a lively discussion about the challenge of identifying the most significant digital content for preservation. 

"Libraries know how to select information that people want to use," he said. "Librarians have developed this capability over many decades—centuries, actually. They are great at drawing on institutional expertise and at soliciting advice from experts.  This ability to zero in on the most important content is essential in an era when we have to deal with information overload and information transience at the same time."