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Humanist Archives: April 25, 2020, 8:11 a.m. Humanist 33.799 - on using academia.edu

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 799.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2020-04-24 08:02:36+00:00
        From: Norman Gray 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.780: on using academia.edu

Fran├žois, hello.

On 19 Apr 2020, at 8:47, Humanist wrote:

> I recently fell victim to the disappearance of browser support
> (plug-in) for
> Shockwave.


> I raise this because what needs to be archived is not only the
> resource but
> the means to playback.
> Do we need a wayback and playback machine?


This is a very good illustration of the observation that digital
preservation is not just about preserving the bits (though that is a
problem which now, it seems, is deemed largely solved, albeit by the
application of surprisingly large amounts of money).

Preserving information about formats, and preserving the means to read
them, are distinct next steps in digital preservation: what is the
documentation for the Flash format?  Do you have a program that can
interpret the format?  Do you have a machine that program can run on?

The Digital Preservation Coalition [1] is the consortium of large
libraries, including national libraries and archives, which coordinates
this [2] (the Internet Archive is an associate member).

I used to know a bit about this.  The document at [3] might have some
more pointers, though it comes at this from a very specific angle, and
is now quite old (though I was quite pleased with this document at the

Incidentally (looking at the URI for [3], and linking a couple of recent
threads), https://purl.org is a thing.  And indeed a Good Thing.  It's a
thing which is currently looked after by the Internet Archive.

Best wishes,


[1] https://www.dpconline.org
[2] https://www.dpconline.org/about/members
[3] https://purl.org/nxg/projects/mrd-gw/report

Norman Gray  :  https://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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