User:ThomasW/Notes bbc domesday

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Tibbetts, Mike (4 November 2008). "Re: BBC Domesday Project (Leeson, RISKS-21.93)". The Risks Digest. Newcastle upon Tyne: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy. 18.03.16

From the very first we worked in close collaboration with the UK National Data Archive which was funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council and housed at the University of Essex in East Anglia.

Laservision technology to allow digital data to be encoded in the stereo soundtrack of their analogue videodisks.

Knowing that our project was coming to an end we transferred the master tapes and server files for everything we had compiled, including all our working documents and enabling software to ... the National Data Archive under the supervision of Professor Newby.

Eighteen or so years later I began to hear about a project instigated by a Northern UK university to "rescue" the Domesday Project data because, as we had always known, our idiosyncratic Philips "LV-ROM" player (of which only about a thousand were ever sold thanks to Philips' exorbitant end-user price) had virtually ceased to exist and copies of the plastic disks were approaching unreadability. I immediately went to the National Data Archive website to assure myself that our original masters had been preserved, only to find no record of them!

I assumed that this web-based reconstruction of the Community Disk would be carefully preserved by the National Archives at Kew in London who had part-funded the reconstruction.

I hear that the instigator of the Community Disk rescue project has sadly died and his web-page which used to link through to the web-enabled reconstruction no longer functions. I have asked other members of the original team and no-one seems to know where, if anywhere, this can now be accessed.

systems of data preservation and heritage archiving simply don't work reliably or consistently.

I respectfully suggest that, for the Domesday Project at least, the risks do not really trace to the use of computers but in the inadequate procedures for effective national curation and conservation of information assets.