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Practical Limits to the Scope of Digital Preservation

Mike Kastellec


This paper examines factors that limit the ability of institutions to digitally preserve the cultural heritage of the modern era. The author takes a wide-ranging approach to shed light on limitations to the scope of digital preservation.  The author finds that technological limitations to digital preservation have been addressed but still exist, and that non-technical aspects—access, selection, law, and finances—move into the foreground as technological limitations recede.  The author proposes a nested model of constraints to the scope of digital preservation and concludes that costs are digital preservation’s most pervasive limitation.

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