November 2007

Video Game Archives at the University of Texas at Austin

An interesting interview article has recently appeared on the the Video Game Archives at the University of Texas at Austin.

Its an area of comtemporary culture which is beginning to get more attention from the digital preservation community and deserves to be a focus for collection development given its significance. The information school at UT is providing support for digital preservation to the Archive but the initial funding for the Archive only has a two year term which may be its greatest challenge.

Short extract on scope of collection below. For further information see:

To ensure an archive of scholarly and cultural interest, the Center will gather and make available for research materials from all sectors of the industry, including developers, publishers, and artists. In addition to the games themselves, archival materials of interest include:

Documents relating to the conception, development, planning, management, marketing, scripting, technology, and design of computer and console games.

Art in the form of drawings, paintings, sketches, diagrams, block diagrams, play charts, environments, and other forms involved in game development projects.

Digital files, including development documents, art, programs, source code, images, e-mail correspondence, planning data, contracts, and business plans.

Physical game platforms including computers, consoles, cartridges, diskettes, controllers, sound boards, speakers, and especially early models that are no longer available for play.

Collateral materials used in marketing or developing games, such as posters, cut-out figures, play weapons, photos, costumes, and vehicles used to convey the sense of the games.

Business documents related to the operation of the game business.

Game player material such as e-mail correspondence, Web sites, and game magazines.

Canadian digital Information Strategy

I found the draft Canadian Digital Information Strategy of considerable interest particularly the sections on national digital preservation actions.

The background to the document is as follows: in 2005, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) initiated a dialogue reflecting the range of interests in the digital field, with the goal of framing a Canadian Digital Information Strategy (CDIS). Through a series of meetings, LAC consulted with over 200 stakeholder organizations from a variety of sectors: publishing and media producers, creators, rights bodies, academics, provincial and federal officials, and memory institutions. The consultations culminated in a National Summit in 2006 where a broad consensus on the elements of a national strategy emerged, leading to the development of the Canadian Digital Information Strategy.

It is currently issued in draft form for comment by 23rd November 2007 by any interested person or organization and is available at

A chapter is devoted to digital preservation issues and sets a series of national objectives as follows:

2.1 Conduct a national appraisal of digital information priorities for long-term retention and preservation, and accelerate capture accordingly.

2.2 Develop a distributed network of Trusted Digital Repositories (TDRs) with responsibility to capture, manage, preserve and provide access to Canada’s digital information assets

2.3 Foster Canadian R&D that advances the goals of better managing, sustaining and providing access to digital information, and contribute research outcomes to the global effort.

2.4 Develop new workplace skills capacity for digital information management and preservation.

2.5 Raise the public and political profile of digital preservation issues.

Overall an engaging national strategy – I will follow its progress with great interest.