chapter  6
28 Pages

Durable Futures

The preservation of texts and other works in a physical medium is an external support of biological memory that facilitates creation. The physical preservation of creative work didn't only extend collective memory in time and space. It made it possible for the human species to build a creative heritage, thus accelerating human development. Inscribing images and words on durable surfaces makes them accessible beyond the limits of their original expression, giving them a permanence they otherwise lack. Though cultural content has been lost over time, much survives, and the memory organizations of the world libraries, archives, museums are charged with preserving what people have and making it accessible to scholars and the wider society. Scanning from print copies will sometimes be done in a destructive manner and the print copies discarded in favour of good digital surrogates. Digital documents are complex; so too are printed documents but print complexity does not cause the same problems for either readers or curators.