June 21, 2004
Nick and I are pleased to announce the publication of a new pamphlet we’ve written, Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for Long-Lasting Electronic Literature. AFB is the first publication of the Electronic Literature Organization’s Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination (PAD) project. While we wrote most of the text of the pamphlet, Nick and I are very much building on the work of the last couple of years by the participants in PAD.
PAD got its start at the 2002 Electronic Literature Organization Symposium at UCLA, where a concern of the gathering was identified — that much writing for electronic media is evanescent. The PAD project was formed to address this problem from a number of angles. The first year’s efforts culminated in the 2003 e(X)literature Conference sponsored by the Digital Cultures Project at UCSB. Now AFB launches the next stage of the PAD effort, which will also include a forthcoming white paper by Alan Liu and other members of the ELO board.
Acid-Free Bits is aimed at authors of electronic literary works. As its subtitle indicates, it identifies a set of practical steps that authors can take now to make it more likely that their work can be made available to readers in the future, even as the technological environment continues to shift under our feet. It’s also an in-process document. This is version 1.0. We’re looking forward to hearing feedback — perhaps starting with the comments field on this entry.