Digitize the Planet, An Online Resource That Helps People Digitally Archive Their Non-Digital Data


Filmmaker and archivist Jason Scott, who recently announced the Archive Corps volunteer collective, has also announced the formation of a related project named Digitize the Planet, a collaborative wiki that helps those who wish to archive their “items trapped in a non-digital format to give them a shot at immortality.”

It has rapidly become less and less of an issue to present digital data to the world. Between webservers, wireless connections, and the glut of storage space available, the problem has shifted from the technical issue of presenting digital data, than acquiring or converting it from non-digital sources.

The world is waking up to the fact that there is a lot of human information sitting in formats that, while stable, are also harder to transfer to others. Books and writings stand ready to be converted into information. Similarly, information which might be considered “digital” but is in fact trapped in containers that have fallen out of fashion need assistance getting to the modern era: Floppy Disks, Cassettes, Videotape, Film…

But a problem arises – it takes time and money to convert these items, and the institutions that exist to help convert them inevitably end up with massive queues and lines to do the work. If the project is split, however, among hundreds or thousands of people, then we have a fighting chance. But these multitudes of a digitizing army need guidance and training.

Therefore, this Wiki has been created to “Digitize the Planet”.

The overall goal is to be a one-stop shop for information on best practices to convert as much of the non-digital world into digital, preferably without the destruction of the original containers. By links, essays and explanations, this wiki will hopefully grow to allow anyone with items trapped in a non-digital format to give them a shot at immortality.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.