Born Digital: From Kilobytes to Terabytes Virtual Exhibit Walkthrough: The Future/Where We’re Going: (Case 3)

Project Digital Archivist
Brenna Edwards

Hello, and welcome to week 3 of our Virtual Exhibit Walkthrough! Due to COVID-19 and Rose Library being closed, we’ve decided to do a virtual walk-through of our current exhibit, Born Digital: From Kilobytes to Terabytes. 

 For a more in-depth “tour,” see below for up-close photographs and exhibit text. Be sure to click through photographs of each case to view the entire thing! 

Introductory panel for case 3 about The Future and where both devices and file types are going.

Case 3:  The Future/Where We’re Going

The Future: Moving forward, the amount of born digital content in our collections will continue to grow exponentially.

With multi-terabyte hard drives becoming more affordable, Rose Library will have to consider the best way to store this data, while also providing access to the fully processed collections. To find out more about the authors and their born digital materials presented in this exhibit, check out their finding aids!

Left view of the case featuring the UltraBlock case with write blockers out and a panel describing what digital archivists do with the case.

Left view of the case, featuring the Where We’re Going panel, Elaine Brown’s iMac [left], and Track K. Smith’s iPhone 4 [right].

Front view of the case.

Right view of the case, featuring the Apple panel, Jake Adam York’s MacBook Pro with the hard drive missing [left], and the backside of Elaine Brown’s iMac [right].

Where We’re Going: Both hardware and software have evolved quickly over the past 20 years, leading to smaller and smaller devices. You probably have a computer on your person right now(smartphone anyone?! While some standardization has occurred on the format side of things(e.g. .pdf, .doc, .jpg), new file formats are being introduced, such as 3D modeling files and program-specific files.

“Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories.” ― Laurie Anderson

You might notice that all of the items, in this case, are Apple products. We don’t know why, but Apple products appear to be preferred amongst writers and poets in our collections, starting all the way back to Rushdie! We theorize creative types -such as writers, photographers, artists -tend to be early adopters and gravitate more towards Apple products, while organizations and businesses tend to gravitate more towards Windows and Microsoft products.

Collections in this case:

Thank you for visiting the exhibit via our virtual tour! Our final walkthrough tour will be next Monday when we will explore Case 4: Behind the Scenes/Preserving Your Born Digital Materials