Born Digital 2016

Born Digital 2016

Since the first public website was published 25 years ago, there has been an explosion of digital content – from supercomputers exploring the universe to Facebook posts with friends. In a world where so much of our lives is captured online, how do we make sense of all that information and make sure it isn’t lost to future generations?

Born Digital 2016 explores the questions around collecting and preserving digital content through a series of fascinating online interviews with expert speakers. Join us for five days of discussion and debate using #borndigital2016 as we examine the technical, social and philosophical questions of our digital lives.

Monday 8 August

Photo of Alan Duffy

Science and space with Dr Alan Duffy

Astronomy in the 21st century produces vast quantities of complex data – the equivalent of the entire internet is generated each day. What do we do with this volume of data and how do we make sense of it? As we continue to explore the universe and reach further in the unknown, what are the challenges and opportunities ahead?

Watch our video of Dr Alan Duffy talking about this 'beautiful problem' of data preservation.

Tuesday 9 August

Photo of Dr Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta

Indigenous voices with Dr Rachael Ka’ai‑Mahuta

Digital technology allows marginal communities to have a voice, challenging the dominance of imperialist power structures. What role can digital technology play in the preservation of Indigenous cultures in a postcolonial world?

Watch our video of Dr Rachael Ka’ai‑Mahuta talking about the importance of digital Indigenous community knowledge being preserved for future generations.

Wednesday 10 August

Photo of John Birmingham

Truth and history with John Birmingham

The rise of citizen journalism offers alternative views to officially recorded history in every tweet, blog and post. Why is it so important for libraries to preserve Facebook, Twitter and other online conversations? How would our world today be understood 100 years from now if these millions of diverse voices from around the world were lost?

Watch our video of John Birmingham talking about why preserving this digital content is vital.

Thursday 11 August

Photo of Dr Rebecca Huntley

Digital lifestyles with Dr Rebecca Huntley

We create digital content in every aspect of our lives. Where once our precious documents were letters, diaries and photo albums, today they may be emails, blogs and Instagram accounts. How would we feel if we lost those electronic records, and what impact would that have on our personal and collective history?

Watch our video of Dr Rebecca Huntley talking about why we need to get serious about preserving our own digital lives.

Friday 12 August

Photo of Steven O’Donnell (Bajo) and Stephanie Bendixsen (Hex)

Play with Steven O’Donnell (Bajo) and Stephanie Bendixsen (Hex)

Computer games have been part of our social and leisure lives for more than 40 years. Over that time they have evolved in complexity and become one of the largest entertainment mediums of the 21st century. What games do we play today and what do they say about us? How can we preserve these games and our social interactions with them, and why is this important?

Watch our video of Steven O'Donnell and Stephanie Bendixsen talking about the evolution of video games and why they are an art form worth preserving.

Personal Digital Archive Toolkit

Photo of some DVDs and a USB drive

Local State, Territory and National libraries devote a lot of time, energy and resources to storing and preserving our digital heritage collections. While you may not have access to the state-of-the-art technology and equipment that your library does, there are still steps you can take at home to ensure your digital treasures last a lifetime. Find out more.

How much data has been collected?

Illustration of a floppy disk, a cd and a dvd

National and state libraries in Australia and New Zealand have been collecting and preserving digital content since the early 1990s. That's a huge amount of data! To find out just how much, check out our infographic.

Digital storage discussion

Listen to an interview with Sarah Slade, Head of Storage & Digital Collection Services at State Library Victoria, discussing the issue of digital storage with Clare Bowditch on 774 ABC radio Melbourne.

Have your say

Join the conversation: #borndigital2016

Buried (digital) treasure

To celebrate Born Digital 2016, a time capsule containing a digital snap-shot of life in 2016 has been buried in the Library's foundations. Designated 'object x', it will remain unopened for 25 years before being retrieved in 2041.

The capsule contains a USB key commonly used for personal data storage. It is uncertain if the data it contains will be readable in 25 years, a risk facing many personal digital archives. We've also created an archivally sound copy of the data as a point of comparison and permanent record.

(Clip courtesy of Nine News Australia.)

Media release

Born Digital 2016 is the inaugural digital preservation week for Australian and New Zealand libraries to talk about the work they've been doing in this area.

Read the media release