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When bits go bad: the Atlas of Digital Damages

Ever heard the term “bit rot” or wondered what actually happens when electronic files go bad? The Atlas of Digital Damages is a collection of files with corrupted bits, so you can visually see what happens. The Atlas is a flickr album, or rather “a staging area for collecting visual examples of digital preservation challenges, failed renderings, encoding damage, corrupt data, and visual evidence documenting #FAILs of any stripe.” So, in addition to viewing these examples, you too can contribute examples to help build the Atlas’ collection. A blog post by Barbara Sierman, from the National Library of the Netherlands, first posed the question and well, folks ran with the idea and created this “crowd sourced effort” to document digital degradation. See, “Where is our atlas of digital damages?”.

I discovered this nifty item while reading through the November Digital Preservation Newsletter from the Library of Congress (there’s lots of great project updates and information, especially on the geospatial digital preservation front in there – so go check it out!)

and check out the LOCKSS project for digital preservation approaches and methods to prevent bit rot on a large scale.

[This post was nicely sent to us by our pal Kris Kasianovitz, International, State and Local Government Information Librarian at Stanford. If others want to send us items of interest, please send them to freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com. Thanks Kris!!]

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1 Comment

  1. jrjacobs says:

    Here’s the table of contents for the November 2012 Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter. It’s a juicy one indeed!

    In this issue:

    • Activist Archivists preserving content from the Occupy Wall Street movement
    • Mapping the Federal geospatial stewardship efforts
    • Interviews with: Lori Emerson, Director of the Media Archaeology Lab; Peter Van Garderen and
      Courtney Muma, Archivematica; and Christie Moffatt and Jennifer Marill, National Library of Medicine
    • Find out about The Atlas of Digital Damages
    • An update on the National Digital Newspaper Program
    • Read about how you can use the Wayback Machine for research
    • The Signal makes the Digital Preservation Award shortlist
    • Recaps from recent events: Designing Storage Architectures Meeting; NDIIPP at the National Book
      Festival; Cory Doctorow’s recent talk at the Library of Congress; and the Digital Asset Management Conference
    • Upcoming events: Best Practices Exchange Dec. 4-6, 2012, Annapolis, MD; Personal Digital Archiving Conference Feb. 21 – 22, 2013, Univ. of Maryland

    Thanks for the heads up Kris!

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