Today, November 4, is World Digital Preservation Day. One of the wonderful things that the Digital Preservation Coalition does to mark this day every year is to release their list of “Digitally Endangered Species”. Here’s their latest announcement. Well worth reading — and well worth your time to think about contributions to future lists!
Today the DPC has released The BitList: the Global List of Digitally Endangered Species 2021:
The BitList offers an accessible snapshot of the concerns expressed by the global digital preservation community with respect to the risks faced by digital content. It is based on the practical experience of professionals with the responsibility to maintain access to content over time. It is not a theoretical exercise, nor does it serve a political or commercial interest.
In an important development, ‘Adobe Flash Animations and Interactive Applets’ has joined the small set of digital materials designated the highest classification of Practically Extinct. Flash joins a small group of other Practically Extinct entries in this year’s list, which have been assigned this classification because they have become inaccessible by most practical means and methods and where immediate action is required to avoid loss. These include material where recovery is possible in very small samples but is impractical at scale.
Six other items have been identified at materially greater risk than in 2019, changing to a higher BitList classification, and twenty-nine entries have an identified trend towards greater risk.
Two new items have been added to the 2021 BitList: ‘Virtual Reality Materials and Experiences’ has been added as a new Endangered entry, and ‘Smart Phone Gaming’ as Critically Endangered.
‘New items appear on the list because an established and experienced professional within the digital preservation community has struggled to preserve access to this content and has called for it to be included,’ explained William Kilbride of the DPC. ‘The categories and classifications of content are broad so that the list can be digested quickly. It is a reference set against which any digital object can be compared.’