The COVID-19 crisis had led to a more digitized world and as a consequence to more digital material that is of value to preserve. UNESCO has published an article “Turning the threat of COVID-19 into an opportunity for greater support to documentary heritage”, clearly showing the importance of collecting and preserving digital materials related to a pandemic in order to better handle future pandemics. Several organisations, related to archives, libraries, research institutions etc. have collaborated into elaborating on this message into a statement, adding three calls to action for governments, businesses, and research institutions around the world:
- Decisions must be documented
- Records and data should be secured and preserved in all sectors
- The security, preservation and access to digital content should be facilitated during the shutdown [and after that I think]
Although we now benefit from all the heritage that was digitized and preserved up until now, compensating for the closed museums, libraries and theatres, the enormous growth in doing things digitally in daily life comes with a responsibility to preserve. Especially beyond heritage: politics, research, public and private sectors. It is time to raise the awareness of digital preservation again, now for a larger audience.