Preserving our digital content is vital. But paying $38,000 for the privilege is not | John Naughton
news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Saturday, 25 November - 16:00 · 1 minute
Storing online data in perpetuity is not just about photos and texts but thoughts and ideas. Platforms such as WordPress are starting to act, but it must be at a realistic price
Way back in 2004 the two founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, thought that it would be a cool idea to scan all the printed books in the world and make them available online. This was at the time when their company’s motto (apart from the guff about not being evil) was to “organise all the world’s information”. Given that the obvious places to look for large collections of books are university libraries, they decided to start there, so they set out to persuade university librarians to let them scan their holdings.
One of the first institutions they approached was a very large American university: they went to visit its librarian and found him very supportive of their ambitious project. Accordingly, the deal was easily sealed. Afterwards, though, the boys noticed that their librarian friend seemed pensive, and so asked him what was wrong. “Nothing’s wrong,” he replied. “I’m just wondering how we can ensure that these scans will be available to readers in 400 years’ time when Google is no longer around. Because it won’t be.”Continue reading...