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Should collecting institutions keep external storage media once the digital content has been extracted?

+4 votes
395 views
The person who asked this question at #digpres14 was specifically asking about external storage media used for transfer rather than, say, external storage media in manuscript collections that are possibly collection items themselves.
asked Jul 23, 2014 by chelcie (270 points)
edited Jul 23, 2014 by chelcie

2 Answers

0 votes
If you get media formatted with HFS (Apple's file system), you might want to keep the original media if you do not copy to HFS again.

Apple's file system keeps lots of metadata on files that is not representable on for example NTFS or Posix systems.
answered Jul 23, 2014 by despens (780 points)
0 votes
Answers from #digpres14:
 
1 - In our work at Rhizome, we often get material from artists on a CD-ROM or similar media.  We ingest the files on the disk and throw it away.  However, it is often the case that the files do not work without something we missed from the disk.  I wish that we had kept the actual CDs from ten years ago to be able to access these artworks.
 
2 - Similar to the RFP for packet-switching with pigeons, sometimes it is faster to transfer a physical harddrive than to send over network.  In this case, the hard drive is simply a really, really big packet.
 
3 - At Portico we keep everything.  Even for a zip file taken over FTP, we maintain the ZIP file.  This is because even as a logical container, we have to reverse-engineer from the ZIP to whatever should be inside.  To be cautious with the contents of these files, we maintain the ZIP.
 
4 - Don't ever try to get the IT department to keep these materials, they don't want them!
answered Jul 23, 2014 by SpencerGoodwin (450 points)
edited Jul 23, 2014 by SpencerGoodwin
Just to give context to the pigeon comment, here's the RFC for an avian based network protocol. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt
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