Our Digital Legacy: an Archival Perspective

Michael Moss, Tim Gollins

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Our digital memories are threatened by archival hubris, technical misdirection, and simplistic application of rules to protect privacy rights. The obsession with the technical challenge of digital preservation has blinded much of the archival community to the challenges, created by the digital transition, to the other core principles of archival science - namely, appraisal (what to keep), sensitivity review (identifying material that cannot yet be disclosed for ethical or legal reasons) and access. The essay will draw on the considerations of appraisal and sensitivity review to project a vision of some aspects of access to the Digital Archive. This essay will argue that only by careful scrutiny of these three challenges and the introduction of appropriate practices and procedures will it be possible to prevent the precautionary closure of digital memories for long periods or, worse still, their destruction. We must ensure that our digital memories can be captured, kept, recalled and remain faithful to the events and circumstances that created them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages29
JournalThe Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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