Week 11 – Digital Preservation

(Note: I wrote “Week 11” in my title, since I’m including Reading Week and made that Week 10)

My professors in the past told me to keep all my research notes and findings in a locked and secure place for a certain amount of time, but this was due to confidentiality and privacy issues. So, I have not really thought about preserving my materials for others to look at and understand. With this specific research proposal in mind and the method I would probably like to use, which is interviewing, I did not initially think digital preservation will be relevant since, like some of you have written so far, I prefer to have paper copies. In my personal experiences, I have found paper copies and physical files to be a lot more secure and reliable than digital files. There were a few times where I lost important documents on my computer, and I had no idea how to retrieve them. However, in this increasingly technological era, I simply cannot avoid the use of technology, and so, my transcripts and recordings from my interviews will most likely be typed up and uploaded to my computer. 

Now what is a bit worrisome is preserving these files for a number of years, especially if they are to be kept and maintained for decades or longer. I have unfortunately gone through many computers and laptops during my secondary and postsecondary years, and I have lost important files over the years. I finally learned that I should not simply save my documents and files to the computer, and I should start saving them to my e-mail or to a hard drive. I have only been doing this recently, and if only I had done this earlier, I could have had all of my pictures, essays, and all my other documents with me today. So, to ensure my research materials are preserved, I will essentially be taking certain precautions like the ones I mentioned to ensure that these materials would not get lost or destroyed. 

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