chapter  36
Traversals
A Method of Preservation for Born-Digital Texts
ByDene Grigar, Stuart Moulthrop
Pages 11

This chapter describes a method of preserving works of digital creativity by documenting the experience of play, assembly, navigation, and co-performance that represents a traversal of the work in its original technical context. We discuss outcomes of Pathfinders, a multiyear project focusing on five works of early electronic literature. Traversals of these works, accompanied by oral history interviews, generate important insights into the nature and history of computational art. Considering the affordances and limits of traversals, we suggest ways to integrate our approach with other strategies of preservation, including archiving, migration, and emulation.