« Copyright Office to examine orphan works | Main | Eyes on the Screen »


Yesterday, while trapped in traffic, I came up with an article title:

The Internet IS Your Permanent Record

It would basically be a discussion of how permanence has become a major value of the Internet. There would be a small aside on the light and dark side of having your most shining achievements AND ignoble actions/words saved for far longer than you would have expected at the time you wrote/did them. A significant portion of the article would be the recent call to arms by various bloggers for newspapers to open their online archives (with reactions from news librarians/news archive managers). Finally, it would look at the role of librarians/archivists, as record managers, archivists and searchers of info, to make heads or tails of this miasma that, at least in some ways, is much less ephemeral than we thought.

Eh ... maybe the title should be, "And This Is Going On Your Permanent Record (And By Permanent Record, I Mean The Internet)!" It has that nostalgic kick and it'll give people something to argue over.

Unfortunately, it's too ambitious for me, and I'm behind on even getting some already-written material prepped for submission and rejection. But, I liked the title. So, I decided to share.


Hmm. I might use that for a disContent column in EContent (no earlier than July of this year); it's an interesting point. If I do, I'll give you credit. No attempt to preemptively claim the title: It's just a notion at this point.

Thanks for sharing the article. Are you guys talk about these stuffs at IA? Digital permanent record is hard to maintain for individual organization. I think it's all going to fall into the category of information policy and archival standards. Intriguing topics nonetheless.

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing, and for compiling all those responses. I had read Free Range Librarian a few days ago, but now it all makes so much more sense!

Don't think I didn't catch this: "I'm behind on even getting some already-written material prepped for submission and rejection." Don't sell yourself short! I have faith that rejection is not imminent (and where did that pessimism come from, anyway?). I understand if you don't have time right now, but I think (as always) you could write a rip-roaring article on this topic. I make encouraging noises in your direction.

First: newspaper "archives" are NOT archives in any proper sense of the term. This myth and misappropriation of the term has gone entirely too long. To describe them as a "Collection of Last Resort (CLRs)" is much more fitting and accurate (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/tools/Conops_Summary.pdf) .

Second: to speak of permanence, one should also speak of "authority of source" and "authenticity", two areas in which Internet entities are sorely lacking.

Third, and more radically: Until there is a dissolution of the "rights" of the corporation to the point that they are no longer stronger than individuals, these corporate entities (newspapers) have a legititmate concern and incentive to protect their corporate assets.

I'm not saying that there aren't legitimate cncerns on the part of the bloggers (and others), but it isn't the black and white problem to be solved by technology that too many have espoused...it's more about human, and corporate, behavior.