One of the greatest considerations of all those who work with material objects (be it art, artifacts, buildings, etc) is conservation and preservation. In spite of our greatest resources and attempts, degradation and, ultimately, destruction of material cultural is the reality – nothing lasts forever… or can it?
Live Science is highlighting the work of the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas which is focusing on using digital technologies to help preserve (possibly indefinitely) our records of the past.
“The development of digital technologies has exponentially magnified the amount of data we’re collecting, simply because we have the tools now to collect a lot more information much more easily than we did in the past,” Adam Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
So while archaeologists, art historians, and conservationists may not ultimately be able to indefinitely preserve objects themselves (susceptible to destruction in war, theft, negligence, or just natural processes), they may be able to retain and disseminate the information indefinitely. To learn more about these endeavors, see the article in Live Science.