On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 8:52 AM, Andrew Darby <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> If it's doable, I think preserving the whole enchilada is desirable. For
> instance, at my last library, there was a regular assignment where students
> needed the print version of old periodicals because they were tasked with
> analysing the ads and layouts. Someone might be interested in web layouts
> from the 2000s, and there might be content (again, ads, but also masthead
> logos, ???) that might not otherwise be captured
That often is not possible and that the number of circumstances when it is
will only decrease over time. Except on flat sites designed according to a
physical document model, the platform and the content work together to
provide the experience. A reasonable argument can be made that taking
snapshots of dynamic things is lossier than focusing on the data. With
regards to the ads, what people see has varied dramatically based on a
number of factors for quite awhile.
Even if that weren't true, retaining information just because some academic
could conceivably come up with a use for it is not a good reason to keep
it. Everything in your trash/recycling may be very interesting from an
archaeological point of view at some time, but it's still a good idea to
pitch it. The shrinking role libraries play in the information sphere is
way too small for us to pay to maintain stuff that has no purpose beyond
meeting a use case that might exist at some indeterminate point in the
future -- especially given the high costs of maintained storage. Fear not.
We will leave no shortage physical and virtual information about ourselves
to future generations.