Rescuing the legacy project: a case study in digital preservation and technical obsolescence
Mickens, Leah M.
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The ability to maintain continuous access to digital documents and artifacts is one of the most significant problems facing the archival, manuscript repository, and record management communities in the twenty-first century. This problem with access is particularly troublesome in the case of complex digital installments, which resist simple migration and emulation strategies. The Legacy Project, which was produced by the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, was created in the early 2000s as a means of telling the stories of Holocaust survivors who settled in metropolitan Atlanta. Legacy was an interactive multimedia kiosk that enabled museum visitors to read accounts, watch digital video, and examine photographs about these survivors. However, several years after Legacy was completed, it became inoperable, due to technological obsolescence. By using Legacy as a case study, I examine how institutions can preserve access to complex digital artifacts and how they can rescue digital information that is in danger of being lost.