Putting pen to paper - arts-life - dominion-post |

In the past, letters were invariably tangible things and the biggest
challenge for archivists and historians was deciphering the handwriting. But
today few people pick up a pen and paper.

Alexander Turnbull's curator of manuscripts, David Colquhoun, describes a
typical contemporary acquisition: "We get the papers of a writer. The papers
are just fine, but there's a shoebox of disks as well."

Before he can decide whether disks are worth keeping, other staff have to
figure out whether they can even open the files. "Some of them are
corrupted," Buzenberg says. "Some of them are in formats that we just can't
read . . . The complexity has just been astounding."

Peter Kurilecz CRM CA
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Richmond, Va
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