Back To Schedule
Thursday, November 7 • 1:00pm - 2:10pm
Athenaeum - Digital Flames

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
How and why do you preserve the physical record of the world’s knowledge — from parchment and ink to bits and bytes? What benefits accrue to current users? Future users? Posterity? Concepts like “truth” and “fact”?

  • Are we heading to a “Library of Alexandria moment” when “essential content could go up in cyber-flames?”(Jamieson)
  • “How are we protecting the integrity of the publishing enterprise – which is now digital – from the kinds of intrusions that would alter the meaning of texts that are secured right now inside … digital libraries?” (Jamieson)
  • “How are we going to protect against people who would … alter the substance of information inside the scholarly publishing world?” (Porter Anderson)
  • “My two kids now in their 20s, have digital keepsakes. Increasingly they rely on Facebook and the cloud to store memories. Their letters from college, sent by email, are long gone. Many photos, never printed have disappeared. The digital realm is awash with all sorts of information. … for them personal history already doesn’t reach back.” (Peter Flint)
  • “…our memories and touchstones are not only being eliminated from our lives by digitization, but are being actively appropriated by tech companies” (Kent Anderson)

Libraries have always tried to preserve information. Bibliophiles, too. This was easier when the information was tangible in books and journals, but we have entered the digital, intangible realm.

  • How can we preserve the world’s history for future generations? Is this possible?
  • How do we preserve our own histories for future generations?
  • How do we defend our sense of self and identity if tech companies own our memories and store them out of sight?
  • Not just organizations but people?
  • What should be preserved? What is culturally significant vs. personally significant?
  • If personally significant memory preservation is important, how do we recreate the natural preservation habits that once permeated informed society? What new technologies might help?
  • How? In what format?
  • Where? Who owns?
  • Can we trust commercial entities to do this?
  • What is trust?
  • Can we trust government to do this?
  • What is the mission of the US Archives in this regard?
  • Who/what is the best guardian? Curator?


Kent Anderson

Founder, Caldera Publishing Solutions

Karin Wulf

Executive Director, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Thursday November 7, 2019 1:00pm - 2:10pm EST
Magnolia Room, Courtyard Marriott Hotel 125 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401