“Data that are not being used are not like books on a shelf or the family correspondence and photos stored in shoe boxes at the back of a closet. They are more like the stacks of LPs or the 8mm family home movies in storage in a basement. That is, digital information is not eyelegible: it is dependent on a machine to decode and re-present the bit streams in images on a computer screen. Without that machine, and without active human intervention, those data will not last.”
I started school recently again — time for more academic thoughts! I’ve harped before that the value of information is directly related to its accessibility. This quote says what I’ve said before: we need to get stuff off our hard drives so people can look at it.
Source: Smith, Abby. Why Digitize? Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, February 1999.