In a message dated 3/29/04 9:01:22 PM, [log in to unmask] writes: << This is an active process. Even neglecting the possibility of human error and equipment failures, it requires a constant approval of operating funds to assure continuity of the process. There will be no discoveries of long lost documents in a neglected warehouse or attic. I'm sure the world will survive, but it seems to be a real change in the concept of recorded history. >> Yes, but . . . the beneficial trade-offs (from archival standpoint as advocated by Library of Congress and proponents of an overarching digital storage environment) are: 1) the functionality of digital storage; 2) wide dissemination with searchability, wide access to indexes and contents via electronic means (i.e. internet, CD-ROM, other future technologies); 3) longer term stability of actual content vs. steady aging, fragility and degradation of analog original source materials. << There will be no discoveries of long lost documents in a neglected warehouse or attic. >> Yes there will because a large portion of rare materials are currently in the hands of private collectors, family legacies, and basements. Two examples: I'm currently working with an archive which has acquired from a private party a sizeable collection (700+ discs) of electrical broadcast transcriptions ranging from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. These were long preserved by a private party involved in the original productions, until such time as an institution expressed interest in long term preservation. I frequently collaborate with a non-profit jazz foundation engaged in preservation which frequently has rare materials offered, bequeathed or donated by private individuals. As a vintage jazz broadcaster, I've had people give me discovered materials, tapes, acetate discs, cassettes, of genuinely rare material.