[Air-l] Digital Doomsday

Lachlan Brown lachlan at london.com
Mon Mar 4 14:45:36 PST 2002


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Sunday, March 03, 2002, 2:57 PM -0500
To: BOOK_ARTS-L at LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
Subject: Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000

Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000

Robin McKie and Vanessa Thorpe
Sunday March 3, 2002
The Observer

It was meant to be a showcase for Britain's electronic prowess - a
computer-based, multimedia version of the Domesday Book. But 16 years
after it was created, the =A32.5 million BBC Domesday Project has
achieved an unexpected and unwelcome status: it is now unreadable.

The special computers developed to play the 12in video discs of text,
photographs, maps and archive footage of British life are - quite
simply - obsolete.

As a result, no one can access the reams of project information -
equivalent to several sets of encyclopaedias - that were assembled
about the state of the nation in 1986. By contrast, the original
Domesday Book - an inventory of eleventh-century England compiled in
1086 by Norman monks - is in fine condition in the Public Record
Office, Kew, and can be accessed by anyone who can read and has the
right credentials.


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