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Tackling a digital dilemma

Tackling a digital dilemma

How will the New Zealand's public sector overcome the loss of important digital information?

We are familiar with the horror headlines from around the world reporting on the loss of valuable digital information

Such as:

NASA – loss of videos of 1969 Moonwalk and 1970s Pioneer Mars probes data

Climate change data

Bush administration emails lost

and most recently the announcement by Sony that it won’t be making floppy disks in the future.

On the homefront New Zealand and Australian public sector information management and recordkeepers are attending the southern hemisphere’s first conference on digital continuity and preservation in Wellington 3-5 May.

The conference will tackle digital continuity technology trends and front up to issues such as: How will public agencies look after digital information in the future and avoid being unable to access information stored on obsolete systems? Will our grandchildren face a hole in the record? In whose hands does the future of digital archiving lie?

We have an impressive line-up of international speakers including: digital preservation expert Dr Seamus Ross, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto Dr Andreas Rauber, Associate Professor Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology Michael Carden, Preservation Software Manager, National Archives of Australia Andrew Waugh, Manager Technical Research, Public Record Office Victoria Oded Scharfstein, Vice-President, Asia-Pacific, Ex Libris Steve Bailey (to present online) Senior adviser, JISC infoNet, University of Northumberland, UK and Peter Alexander representing the Australian Government CIOs Office.

They will be joined by other digital information experts from New Zealand and Australia who will present a series of workshops and discussion groups.

Day one of the conference includes a workshop on the basics of digital preservation run by Dr Seamus Ross, with another more advanced session by Dr Andreas Rauber , and an open source digital archives software demonstration by Michael Carden. The conference proper on day 2, will be opened by Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand Hon Nathan Guy. The programme includes a raft of keynote addresses, panel discussions and a taster session of short and sharp presentations guaranteed to whet the appetite for the rest of the conference. Day 3 is a BarCamp or un-conference day where people will be able to discuss and develop the themes and recommendations of the first two days.

You can visit the conference website for further information and to view the programme and keynote speaker bios.


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