We have many institutions to preserve books, documents, film and recorded audio.
More and more, our lives are being played out digitally on the Internet, yet the effort to save our digital culture is much less advanced.
The Internet “was conceived without the notion of time and without the notion of archiving at its core,” said Herbert Van de Sompel, a computer scientist who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory inLos Alamos,N.M., in a Washington Post article.
Think of all the material that appears on only the Web these days: YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook posts, Twitter messages. Think of the hole in the history of the 2008 presidential campaign if we could retrieve nothing that was on barackobama.com. (Those pages have been archived.)