by Mike Casey, Director of Technical Operations, Audio/Video, Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, Indiana University
Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
For the past year, I have ended the Why Media Preservation Can’t Wait presentation with this quote. I love its sense of the possibility (probability?) of emergence: we cannot see a path to take us where we want to go and yet, as we join with other like-minded collaborators, the road rises before us and becomes real. We can trust that it will appear both when we need it and when it is ready. Even with our current success digitizing media recordings at Indiana University, we had to walk our road into existence. It was not always apparent. Now, similar roads are appearing at other institutions whose libraries and archives preserve cultural heritage media materials like the New York Public Library, the University of North Carolina, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute, Stanford University, and others. Each road is at least a little different in its twists, turns, and destination.