Bits of Freedom
Bits of Freedom

Tinkerer and thinker on everything free and open. Exploring possibilities and engaging with new opportunities to instigate change.

Jonas Öberg
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Jonas is a dad, husband, tinkerer, thinker and traveler. He's passionate about the future and bringing people together, from all fields of free and open.

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Bits of Freedom

Digital preservation of old crap

Jonas ÖbergJonas Öberg

I've collected a lot of crap over the years. Most of it in subdirectories of subdirectories. Of subdirectories of subdirectories. I recently made some useful discoveries /home/jonas/own/_private/Arkiv/Ancient/Arkiv/ancient-archive/Salvage/misc/14. The stash of documents in this place originated in old floppy disks from my youth, which I salvaged at some point, then placed them into an archive directory. Which got placed in another archive directory. Which was ancient, so I placed it in an ancient directory, which was placed in an archive directory.

Over the years, I've made some attempts at sorting this out, and possibly around 7 years ago I even made a tool which would help me tag and index archived material. It didn't last long. But it in itself has a handful of archived documents which I clearly felt was important at the time: notes from the FSFE General Assembly in Manchester in 2006, a Swedish translation of Rangzen Tibetan song and then this:

 Archive ID: 2d8f7304
Description: Kiosk computer image for Tekniska Museet

#  Filename             Filetype                  Tags                          
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1  kiosk.zip            application/zip           work[gu, fsfe]  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the image file used for an exhibition at the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology which I once helped create a Freedom Toaster. I doubt this has any historical value, but I couldn't manage to part with it. And this is how you end up with paths such as ./Arkiv/Ancient/Ancient/Programming/Gopher/GopherHistory/data/raw/gopher.coyote.org/70/0/Slashdot/Archive/1999-08-14/

(That directory contains a copy of an 18 year-old Slashdot article talking about how SCO might start offering Linux support. The article was snarfed up, archived and included in my Gopher mirror of Slashdot at the time.)

Either way, back to the point of this posting: I'm looking for recommendations. What I would like to have is a tool which would allow me to organise my archive in some sensible way. I feel a need to be able to add tags (like my previous tool did), but I also feel I need to add more metadata and stories to it.

The entire Gopher project, I would probably wrap into one big file and archive it as a collection. But I would want to add to this some information about what that collection actually contains, when it's from, and how I ended up having it.

Ideally in a way such that parts of the archive which are public, and which could be interesting for others, can easily and automatically be published in an inviting way.

Let me have your thoughts. Do I really need to look at tools such as Omeka or Collective Access or can I wing it, and avoid having to pay for an archivist?

Jonas Öberg
Author

Jonas Öberg

Jonas is a dad, husband, tinkerer, thinker and traveler. He's passionate about the future and bringing people together, from all fields of free and open.