About Donald T. Hawkins

Donald T. Hawkins is a writer, blogger, speaker, and long-time information industry observer whose distinguished career included 15 years in the AT&T Bell Laboratories Library Network, where he was honored for his pioneering contributions in end-user searching. He is the author of hundreds of articles and a two-time winner of the UMI/Data Courier Award for excellence in writing. He is the editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage.

Author Archive | Donald T. Hawkins

A Monumental Personal Archiving Project

On the front page of yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, there was a story describing what might be the largest personal archiving project ever. Mrs. Marion Stokes, who died in 2012, recorded all the TV news on all channels for nearly 35 years. Her collection filled nearly 140,000 videocassettes which weigh about 31 tons!

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The Genesis of ‘Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage’

I said in my previous posting that our digital data are fragile and perishable and that preservation is one of the most important reasons to undertake an archiving project.  And as it turned out, that consideration led eventually to the publication of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage.

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An Important Lesson to Be Learned From The Internet Archive Fire

In the early morning hours of November 6, a fire broke out in the scanning center of the Internet Archive’s headquarters in San Francisco (click here to view photos).  Fortunately, it was contained fairly quickly, and losses were mostly confined to specialized hardware, estimated to have been worth about $600,000.  Nobody was injured, and there was no loss of stored data.  The main headquarters building was not damaged, but a residence on the other side of the scanning center was extensively damaged, and the occupants were temporarily relocated.

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