Growth rings and digital preservation: Three meditations on strategies to preserve performance-dependent items

Louise Curham

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

28 Downloads (Pure)


This short paper consists of three meditations on potentially fruitful concepts for the preservation of performance-dependent heritage derived from a study of the use of 1970s media art. The meditations cover the following topics: 1) there are aspects to ritual that can guide principles for digital preservation, relevant to digital preservation as an aspirational conceptual model in which a goal for digital preservation is to strive for the resilience that rituals have; 2) as a result of use, growth rings that reflect that use can be added to items as a form of enriched metadata; and 3) in literary translations, ‘clouds of meaning’ can be shared with readers by showing both the original and the translation, an argument in support of end-user systems that reveal aspects of the original digital object as well as the iterative forms it takes in the process of maintaining it over time. Some future users will want to understand not just the content of item that has undergone migration or emulation, they will want to investigate that process itself, able to interrogate both the original item and its iterations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationiPRES 2021
Subtitle of host publication17th International conference on digital preservation
PublisheriPRES 2021
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventiPRES 2021: 17th International Conference on Digital Preservation - Online, Beijing, China
Duration: 19 Oct 202122 Oct 2021
Conference number: 17 (Conference proceedings) (Where full proceedings will be published),Academy%20of%20Sciences%20(NSL). (Call for papers)


ConferenceiPRES 2021
Abbreviated titleEmpowering Digital Preservation for the Enriched Digital Ecosystem
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Growth rings and digital preservation: Three meditations on strategies to preserve performance-dependent items'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this