Researchers of family history are in the business of preservation. We hope to preserve not only our own personal documents, but we may also be involved in a larger community project that aims to make content more widely accessible to genealogists and family historians around the world.
One needs only to look around to see digital content everywhere. No one today uses camera film; we take digital photos and videos. We don’t write real-time letters and mail them, but communicate via social media. Who buys music records, except collectors? Instead, we download digital music. What we need to plan for is how to preserve this content for the future. We also need to think about storing it and managing access.
One resource that has importantly contributed to helping researchers understand the value of this quest is the digital preservation blog – The Signal - of the Library of Congress. Access the blog here and also subscribe.
Launched a year ago, it has published 288 posts by nine staff bloggers and more than two dozen guest writers, has had nearly 270,000 page views, and garnered more than 100,000 web mentions. It has been mentioned on museum and library websites and on blogs devoted to art, law, music, genealogy (including this blog), photography and technology.
The goal of The Signal is to communicate with researchers, librarians, archivists and other digital content gatherers, and to raise awareness among everyone else with a personal or other reason to preserve content.