June 21, 2004

Acid-Free Bits

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 10:27 am

Nick and I are pleased to announce the publication of a new pamphlet we’ve written, Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for Long-Lasting Electronic Literature. AFB is the first publication of the Electronic Literature Organization’s Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination (PAD) project. While we wrote most of the text of the pamphlet, Nick and I are very much building on the work of the last couple of years by the participants in PAD.

PAD got its start at the 2002 Electronic Literature Organization Symposium at UCLA, where a concern of the gathering was identified — that much writing for electronic media is evanescent. The PAD project was formed to address this problem from a number of angles. The first year’s efforts culminated in the 2003 e(X)literature Conference sponsored by the Digital Cultures Project at UCSB. Now AFB launches the next stage of the PAD effort, which will also include a forthcoming white paper by Alan Liu and other members of the ELO board.

Acid-Free Bits is aimed at authors of electronic literary works. As its subtitle indicates, it identifies a set of practical steps that authors can take now to make it more likely that their work can be made available to readers in the future, even as the technological environment continues to shift under our feet. It’s also an in-process document. This is version 1.0. We’re looking forward to hearing feedback — perhaps starting with the comments field on this entry.

2 Responses to “Acid-Free Bits”

  1. nick Says:

    Acid-Free Bits is going to be published by the ELO as a paper pamphlet, too. It should be available at trAce’s Incubation conference and other conferences dealing with e-lit, and will be available to ELO members.

    The printed text will be the same as the e-text online now, which is available under a Creative Commons license. Without even considering fair use, you’re explicitly given permission to, for instance, print out copies for an entire class or include it on a class CD-ROM.

    Noah and I took up the task of bringing this (very small) document about e-lit preservation to the public, but as Noah mentioned, the PAD project has been busy for a while with several sorts of research, investigation, and debate, which is broader and deeper than the recommendations of Acid-Free Bits. You have to start somewhere, though, and addressing a readership of authors about steps they can take seemed like a good start.

  2. Michael Says:

    The New York Times has a nice article on the general problem of digital archiving.

Powered by WordPress