Notes of a Binge Thinker

Thoughts from NTLP's Executive Director

Personal Digital Archives – Do libraries have a role?

Hi.  I was looking over the latest trend called Personal Digital Archives and discovered a pretty interesting site to help individuals, and maybe a model for libraries to provide their communities.  

If I understand it correctly, Personal Digital Archives are a record of everything that we do online today.  If you think about it, we store a lot more online today than we have ever have in the past.  You most likely have a facebook account, a flickr or shuttlebug account, itunes, paypal and several email accounts.  How do you preserve this content for future generations?  How do you let your loved ones know about how to access your online information after you are gone?  This is where personal digital archives come into play. 

In my research, I found a service called Legacy Locker that provides this service to individuals at a price.  Here is a blurb from their website:

Legacy Locker is the safe and secure way to pass access to your online accounts to friends and loved ones. It’s like a digital safety deposit box – you can put passwords to all your online accounts (emails, photos, social networks, everything online that requires a login) in it. For every account you store, you can assign a beneficiary, someone to whom you want to entrust your digital content for the future.

How could libraries help individuals with their Personal Digital Archives?  Of course, we have always been archives of local history so if we could figure out a way to do this for digital content, I think it would add a value to the library in the minds of individuals.  At the very least, a workshop or two on the subject might be appropriate for the library patrons. 

What do you think, BTC?  Does a library have a role in Personal Digitial Archives movement?


Written by amwlkaw

February 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

Posted in Misc

One Response

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  1. I know this was a topic of discussion at ALA Midwinter and Lorcan Dempsey from OCLC spoke about personal archiving and the role libraries might play. He mentioned this would be a great way to capture and archive data of famous authors whose personal papers are collected by universities. I think this is really a need. For the first time ever, we have more personal data online and it is difficult to keep up with all of it – an aggregate is great! thinking I might use Legacy Locker for my personal files. Great find!

    I am reading Too Much to Know by Ann M Blair about information overload from the beginning of time……….interesting that civilization has been dealing with this issue since the Garden of Eden : )


    Carolyn Brewer

    February 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

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