AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Personal Digital Information: What? Where? Why? Content types, Storage locations, and Motivations -- Implications for Long Term Preservation

Andrea Japzon

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


This research investigates the evolving infrastructure of personal digital information storage and its implications for long-term preservation. Personal information storage has been gradually moving away from a client-side approach utilizing hard drives and local installations of software applications toward the web-based storage and services models offered by private companies such as Google and Flickr. The types and quantities of digital devices and web services that contain and provide access to personal information have implications for long term information organization, preservation, and ultimately an individual’s ability to curate her own personal information.

Participants will be asked to complete two personal information matrices. The matrices are designed to gather information on the types of digital content collected and the places of storage for the different types. The personal information matrices are analyzed using descriptive statistics and in terms of the overall effectiveness of the technical infrastructure that supports the preservation of information of personal value to the participants. Additionally, participants’ perceptions of their own digital preservation readiness will be evaluated in view of established digital preservation practices.

In an effort to facilitate long term access to personal digital information, this research intends to provide recommendations for the improvement of current storage and preservation technologies that support personal information Further, this research will contribute to the understanding of affective and cognitive interactions with personal information as it intends to provide insight into the motivations for content acquisition and storage source selection; the values associated with personal digital information; and the gaps in the knowledge possessed by individuals regarding the storage of personal information and digital preservation.

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