We are living in a digital age, where almost all business and communication is conducted electronically. However, very few people give any thought to how they will access this digital data in the long term. Electronic information is surprisingly fragile! Compare MS.5755/1 a fragment of papyrus created in the 3rd century BC, and still readable, with the difficulties accessing the information gathered for the BBC’s 1986 Domesday Project.
If The Wellcome Library is to continue to be “outstanding as an historical, evidential and cultural resource of national and international importance in the field of the history of medicine” (MLA, 2005), we must tackle the problem of curating digital material now.
The following presentation, given at the Cambridge Libraries Conference on the 8th January 2010, provides an overview of the work undertaken by the Wellcome Library in this area so far. Click on fullscreen to scroll through the slides.