International conference on preservation of digital information started in Moscow
The most topical issues of preservation of digital information will be discussed in Moscow in the international conference, Preservation of Digital Information in the Information Society: Problems and Prospects, which started today. The Conference, organized in the framework of Russian chairmanship in the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO Information for All Programme, will continue up to 5 October 2011. This event is a new step in the implementation of the IFAP Strategic Plan, and the first-ever international conference on this theme under UNESCO aegis with attendance of representatives of all UNESCO geographical regions.
The Conference conveners are the Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme and the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre. Support to the conference is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation and the Russian National Commission for UNESCO.
The meeting gathers about 140 participants, including executives and representatives of major libraries, archives, museums, research and educational institutions, expert associations, international organizations, governmental bodies, mass media, publishing houses, ICT industries and other stakeholders involved in long-term preservation of digital information from 37 countries.
The Conference will establish a platform for determining and discussing challenges and solutions of long-term preservation of digital information, mainly:
- digital information preservation philosophy, methods, policies, laws and activities at international, regional, national and institutional levels;
- roles, functions, rights and responsibilities of traditional and modern institutions already involved, or to be involved, in long-term digital information preservation; and
- professional training in digital information preservation.
The sessions are organized around the following topics:
- Information Preservation: Digital Landscape;
- Policies and Education for Digital Information Preservation;
- National Approaches, Solutions, Vision;
- Digital Preservation of Text Documents; and
- Digital Preservation of Audiovisual Documents.
Proceedings of the Conference are planned for publication in print and digital forms in Russian and English.
The Conference in Moscow is thus an especially important preparatory event to support UNESCO’s broader strategy of raising awareness and building global partnerships. It will also stimulate the reflections on the technological, legal, cultural, economic, political, security and other dimensions ahead of UNESCO's international conference on Digital Heritage Preservation, which will be held in Canada in September 2012.
UNESCO regards universal access to information as a prerequisite for building knowledge societies, and systematic preservation - as the basis for the continuous dissemination of information from one generation to the next. In a world increasingly being shaped by digital technologies, the traditional guardian institutions (libraries, archives and museums) are challenged to keep pace with the rapid growth in information. Never before in history has information been so fragile and volatile as in the digital age. Digital content is unlikely to survive 10 years, not only because of carrier degradation, but also because of format obsolescence. With technical development information preservation, paradoxically, becomes more and more complex and critical as ease of access leads to the neglect and, finally, to oblivion of information not available on-line. One of the tasks of UNESCO’s Information for All Programme is to provide a platform for international policy discussions, as well as guidelines for action on the preservation of information and universal access to it.