Challenges of Digital Heritage Materials Preservation in Botswana
The media for recording information has evolved over time. In the past, stone, wood, metal, clay and paper served as information storage media. Developments in science and technology over the past two centuries have now necessitated the transition from paperbased formats to a variety of media and further deepened the challenges of materials preservation. Increasingly, information is now in electronic multi-media form occasioned by its creation, storage and dissemination in picture, sound, text or combination of these. Information resources in the electronic era now range or exist in the form of simple text-based files such as word processing files, to highly sophisticated web-based resources such as databases, websites, mails and storage mediums such as diskettes, flush drives, CD ROMs and others. This paper documents work undertaken to assess the current practices for heritage digital materials preservation in Botswana with a view to identifying strategies and policy issues for the long-term preservation of digital materials. The study sought to establish the current situation regarding digital materials preservation in national archives, libraries, museums, media organizations and other public institutions involved in the creation, collection, and storage of heritage materials. It also investigated the institutional capacities (human and material) for collection, storage and preservation, and provision of access to digital information in Botswana. The paper further makes several recommendations on the policies and strategies for improving the state of national digital material preservation in Botswana.
Keywords: Botswana, National digital material, Preservation
ESARBICA Vol. 27 2008: pp. 171-202