Spring 2021 Syllabus

Version 8.2

This course acquaints students with the challenges of, and best practices for, preserving digital artifacts. Topics can include a survey of the (sometimes bewildering) array of formats for digital media, along with their vulnerabilities and half-lives; analysis of various preservation strategies (storage, migration, emulation, reinterpretation); institutional, legal, and practical impediments to preservation; preservation standards and resources for digital media (Media Matters, Variable Media Questionnaire). 3 credits.

Logistics and policies
Week 1: What Is Preservation?
Week 2: Dead Media I
Week 3: Dead Media II
Week 4: Storage
Week 5: Migration
Week 6: Emulation I
Week 7: Emulation II
Week 8: Reinterpretation
Week 9: Physical Encoding of Digital Objects
Week 10: Digital Objects and the Database
Week 11: Platforms and Digital Objects
Week 12: Preservation Metadata
Week 13: Preservation Workflow
Week 14: Final project