The Challenge to Future Historians

The best computer storage devices that exist today are ephemeral compared to primitive technology such as engraved rocks. A stone tablet can last for millennia, but anything we can store files on will very likely be useless in 50 years. However, there are some prospects for seriously long-lived media in the labs.

Researchers at Berkeley Labs and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a method in which a miniscule iron particle can move within a nanotube under the control of an electric current. The state of the particle can be read without moving it. They estimate a billion years before losing data due to particle drift but don’t discuss whether the physical integrity of the tubes will match.

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Associate University Librarian and Director of Digital Initiatives & Collaborative Services: University of California at Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley invites applications for the position of Associate University Librarian (AUL) and Director of Digital Initiatives & Collaborative Services. This position is central to Berkeley’s goal of enhanced access to library resources for users on campus and off campus. Drawing upon expertise from across the Berkeley Library, campus partners, and UC System, the AUL supports Berkeley’s dynamic, research-intensive environment. As the primary technology planner for the Library, the AUL sets policy and strategic directions to ensure the Library maintains a reliable, scalable, and sustainable technology infrastructure; robust computing services for library users and library staff; vibrant web services, and expanding digital initiatives. The AUL also provides leadership and direction for the policies and services related to other collaborations reaching beyond the Berkeley campus such as the UC Berkeley Library Interlibrary Services and the Northern Regional Library Facility shared by the five northern UC campuses. With the tools to shape access to both legacy collections and newly digitized ones, the AUL will be an architect of new models for networked information.
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