Timeline of digital preservation
Digital preservation encompasses a variety of efforts and technologies, so its history can be viewed through various trends in these separate efforts:
- File systems with built-in fault-tolerance
- Various changes in the physical storage used
- On-demand archiving services
- URL shortening services
- Various episodes of major archival work, sometimes as a result of services shutting down
- Efforts at converting physical/analog information to more modern digital media, file formats, and storage
This full timeline is sortable; in particular, sorting by the "Topic" column allows for viewing the timeline grouped by the various trends mentioned above.
|Year||Month and date||Topic||Details|
|1972||Versioning||Marc Rochkind develops the Source Code Control System at Bell Labs.|
|1982||October||Physical storage||The compact disc (CD) as well as the CD player first become commercially available in Japan.|
|1987||June||Physical storage||The term "RAID" is invented by David Patterson, Garth A. Gibson, and Randy Katz at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987. In their June 1988 paper "A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)", presented at the SIGMOD conference, they would argue that the top performing mainframe disk drives of the time could be beaten on performance by an array of the inexpensive drives that had been developed for the growing personal computer market. Although failures would rise in proportion to the number of drives, by configuring for redundancy, the reliability of an array could far exceed that of any large single drive.|
|1989||November 13||Versioning||Continuous data protection, the technique of backing up computer data by automatically saving a copy of every change made to that data, is patented by British entrepreneur Pete Malcolm.|
|1990||Possibly the earliest reference to the term "digital preservation" (to mean converting analog media to digital and preserving in digital form) is from this year.:124|
|1996||January||Web archiving||The initial version of the command-line downloading program Wget, then known as Geturl, is released.|
|1996||Web archiving||The Internet Archive is founded by Brewster Kahle.|
|1996||April||Web archiving||Alexa Internet is founded by Brewster Kahle. Since this year, Alexa Internet has donated its crawl data to the Internet Archive.|
|1996||Preserving Digital Information: Report of the Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information (Donald Waters, John Garrett, eds.) is published. It became a fundamental document in the field of digital preservation that helped set out key concepts, requirements, and challenges.|
|1997||April 8||Web archiving||cURL, a computer software project providing a library and command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols, releases its initial version of the tool. It is known at this point as HttpGet, would briefly rename itself to urlget, and would finally rename itself to cURL in March 1998. cURL can be used to download files over a network.|
|1998||May||Web archiving||The first version of HTTrack, a free and open source Web crawler and offline browser, is released.|
|2000||The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) launches.|
|2001||October||Web archiving||The Wayback Machine is launched.|
|2001||October 14||Version 1.0 of the Parity Volume Set specification, used in Par1, is published.|
|2002||January||Web archiving||TinyURL, the first notable URL shortening service, is launched.|
|2003||July||The International Internet Preservation Consortium is founded.|
|2005||Cloud storage||Box is launched as Box.net.|
|2005||April 7||Versioning||The initial version of Git, a version control system with support for data integrity, is released.|
|2005||April 29||Web archiving||Safari version 2.0 introduces the ability to save complete websites using the proprietary WebArchive format (details at Safari version history).|
|2005||August 1||Physical storage||The article "Kryder's Law" is published The law observes that magnetic disk areal storage density has been increasing very quickly.|
|2005||August||Versioning||Writely, a web-based word processor created by the software company Upstartle, launches. By January 2006, Writely would have support for revision history. Upstartle would later be acquired by Google and Writely would be integrated into Google Docs.|
|2005||October 31||File system||The first implementation of ZFS, a file system that includes protection against data corruption, is integrated into Solaris.|
|2006||March 19||Cloud storage||Amazon Web Services launches by releasing the Simple Storage Service (S3), intended for storing individual files (called objects) in a highly redundant and available fashion. S3 is designed for at least 99.999999999% durability (i.e., that percentage of objects is expected to survive after a year) and 99.99% availability (i.e., that percentage of objects is accessible at any given time). The cost of S3 storage dropped over the next decade, reaching 2.3 cents a GB effective December 1, 2016. S3 has been widely used by corporations, libraries, and governments to digitize data for long-term storage.|
|2007||January 30||Versioning||Microsoft Office 2007 is released. Word 2007 introduces the ability to track changes in documents.|
|2007||June||Cloud storage||Dropbox is founded by MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a startup company from the American seed accelerator Y Combinator.|
|2007||September 21||Physical storage||The initial version of Paperkey is released. Paperkey is a free software implementation of a paper key. It extracts the essential secret bytes from an OpenPGP private key, which can then be printed to paper.|
|2007||October 26||Versioning||Apple releases the initial version of Time Machine.|
|2007||Physical storage||Two software for densely storing information on paper are released: PaperBack and Twibright Labs' Optar.|
|2008||Web archiving||The URL shortening service Bitly is launched.|
|2008||April 10||Versioning||GitHub, a web-based Git repository hosting service, is launched. GitHub would popularize version control and Git. GitHub would also play an important role in encouraging people to make their source code freely available for posterity, allowing others to fork the code and acting as a de facto archive. In addition to software projects, GitHub would also be used to host code repositories for scientific research as well as for hosting and backing up websites and content.|
|2008||November 15||Cloud storage||Backupify is founded.|
|2008||November 20||Digitizing||The prototype for Europeana launches.|
|2009||January 6||Web archiving||The Archive Team begins operating. Its first big effort, for which it receives press coverage, is to download Geocities data before the service shuts down.|
|2009||Web archiving||SocialSafe Ltd, the company responsible for developing SocialSafe, is founded.|
|2009||March 23||File system||The initial version of Btrfs, a file system that supports checksums, incremental backups, and the ability to repair errors, is released as part of the Linux kernel version 2.6.29.|
|2009||May 15||Web archiving||The WARC file format is published as the standard ISO 28500:2009.|
|2009||October 26||Web archiving||Yahoo! GeoCities, a web hosting service founded in 1994, closes its United States branch. Various attempts at archiving GeoCities are made. The site would continue to be available only in Japan.|
|2010||April 14||Web archiving||Twitter announces that it will donate its archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress.|
|2011||June 28||Web archiving||Google Takeout is launched by the Google Data Liberation Front.|
|2012||August 1||File system||Microsoft introduces ReFS. ReFS has a number of features related to digital preservation including integrity checking and data scrubbing, protection against data degradation, built-in handling of hard disk drive failure and redundancy, and integration of the RAID functionality.|
|2012||August 21||Cloud storage||Amazon Web Services launches Amazon Glacier, an addition to its S3 offerings with lower storage costs than S3 (initially 1 cent per GB). Glacier is intended for long-term archival in cases where retrieval is rare; therefore retrieval is costly and slow. Glacier offers the same durability as the standard S3 offering. In December 2016, the price of Glacier is reduced to 0.4 cents per GB. Glacier has been used by governments, corporations, and libraries for low-cost long-term archival. It has also been recommended for use for personal backups when frequent access is not needed. In the years since Glacier's launch, many backup services have emerged that store data in Glacier.|
|2013||April 6||Web archiving||In the United Kingdom, the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations come into force, bringing digital and online material under the scope of the UK's legal deposit. Previously, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 had given the Secretary of State the powers to make regulations governing the deposit of non-print publications, but such regulations were never made at that time.:5|
|2013||April 18||Digitizing||The Digital Public Library of America launches.|
|2013||July 1||Web archiving||Google Reader, an RSS/Atom feed aggregator operated by Google, shuts down after having launched in 2005. The shutdown prompts an effort to archive the feed data from the service.|
- "The History of Version Control". LayerVault Blog. November 13, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
But they have advanced the idea of version control beyond just version tracking and collaboration: they have made version control central to how software is developed, tested, and deployed. […] Microsoft Word 2007 introduced the idea of tracked changes. […] Apple introduced Time Machine with OS X Leopard in 2007
- Dorian Lynskey (May 28, 2015). "How the compact disc lost its shine". The Guardian. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
CBS released the world’s first commercially available CD, a reissue of Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, in Japan in October 1982. Philips missed the production deadline so the international release was put back to March 1983.
- Benj Edwards (October 1, 2012). "The CD player turns 30". PCWorld. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
On October 1, 1982, Sony ignited a digital audio revolution with the release of the world’s first commercial compact disc player, the CDP-101 (above), in Japan.
- Patterson, David; Gibson, Garth A.; Katz, Randy (1988). A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) (PDF). SIGMOD Conferences. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Frank Hayes (November 17, 2003). "The Story So Far". Computerworld. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
Patterson recalled the beginnings of his RAID project in 1987. […] 1988: David A. Patterson leads a team that defines RAID standards for improved performance, reliability and scalability.
- Peter B. Malcolm (November 13, 1989). "US Patent 5086502: Method of operating a data processing system". Google Patents. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
Filing date Nov 13, 1989
- Hirtle, Peter B. (c. 2003). "The History and Current State of Digital Preservation in the United States".
The earliest reference that I could find in English to the "digital preservation" of data occurs in the context of the research that Anne Kenney and Lynne Personnius undertook in 1990 at the Cornell University Library in conjunction with the Xerox Corporation.
- "GNU Wget NEWS – history of user-visible changes". Svn.dotsrc.org. 2005-03-20. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
Wget 1.4.0 [formerly known as Geturl] is an extensive rewrite of Geturl.This NEWS file is included in source distributions of Wget.
- Niksic, Hrvoje (June 24, 1996). "Geturl: Software for non-interactive downloading". comp.infosystems.www.announce. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- "Internet Archive: About IA". Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- "Internet Archive: Bios". Internet Archive. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- "Alexa Internet - Company Overview". Archived from the original on October 7, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- "Alexa Crawls". Internet Archive. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- Donald Waters; John Garrett (1996). Preserving digital information: Report of the task force on archiving of digital information. CLIR. ISBN 1-88733450-5. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Tibbo, Helen R. (2003). "On the Nature and Importance of Archiving in the Digital Age". Advances in Computers. Advances in Computers. 57: 26. ISBN 9780120121571. doi:10.1016/S0065-2458(03)57001-2.
- "Principles and Good Practice for Preserving Data. IHSN Working Paper No 003". International Household Survey Network. December 2009. Archived from the original (pdf) on March 20, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- "History of curl - How curl Became Like This". curl. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
Daniel simply adopted an existing command-line open-source tool, httpget, that Brazilian Rafael Sagula had written and recently release version 0.1 of. After a few minor adjustments, it did just what he needed. […] HttpGet 1.0 was released on April 8th 1997 with brand new HTTP proxy support.
- Stenberg, Daniel (20 March 2015). "curl, 17 years old today". daniel.haxx.se. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Roche, Xavier (February 8, 2014). "Re: Full History of HTTrack". HTTrack Forum. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
The first release was in May 1998, but only as binaries.
- "A Brief History of NDIIPP". The Library of Congress - Digital Preservation. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
2000 - NDIIP legislation is passed
- "Internet Archive launches WayBack Machine". Online Burma Library. 2001-10-25. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
- Nahas, Michael (2001-10-14). "Parchive: Parity Volume Set specification 1.0". Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
- Katie Dean (March 16, 2004). "Honey, I Shrunk the URL". Wired. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
So the 24-year-old Web developer from Blaine, Minnesota, launched TinyURL.com in January 2002, a free site that converts huge strings of characters into more manageable snippets.
- Lepore, Jill (January 26, 2015). "The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived?". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
Twitter is a rare case: it has arranged to archive all of its tweets at the Library of Congress. […] The U.K. has what's known as a legal-deposit law; it requires copies of everything published in Britain to be deposited in the British Library. In 2013, that law was revised to include everything published on the U.K. Web.
- Rachel King (March 6, 2014). "How Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business, without stabbing each other in the back". TechRepublic. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
Development for Box, then Box.net, started at the end of 2004, but really got off the ground and went online in 2005 during their sophomore years of college.
- Aaron Levie (September 14, 2011). "Commentary: Why we had to leave Seattle to build Box.net". GeekWire. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
Box – which now competes with Redmond's very own Microsoft SharePoint – had been started in early '05 from college dorm rooms in California and North Carolina.
- Torvalds, Linus (2007-06-10). "Re: fatal: serious inflate inconsistency". git (Mailing list).
- Frakes, Dan; Griffiths, Rob (October 20, 2005). "The Secrets of Safari". Macworld. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
In older versions of Safari, “saving” a Web page saved only its HTML source code; images and other embedded content were lost. Fortunately, Apple fixed this in Safari 2.0: the Save As command includes a Web Archive option, which saves nearly everything on the page, including images.
- Walter, Chip (August 2005). "Kryder's Law". Scientific American.
- Sawers, Paul (September 2, 2011). "15 tips to get the most out of Google Docs". The Next Web. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- Chang, Emily (October 5, 2005). "eHub Interviews Writely". eHub. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- Dennis Tsang (January 26, 2006). "Writely - The Web Word Processor". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
Writely saves all the revisions each time you edit, so that you can go back and see what has been edited at each revision.
- Jeff Bonwick (October 31, 2005). "ZFS: The Last Word in Filesystems". Jeff Bonwick's Blog. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
And today, 10/31/2005, we integrated into Solaris.
- "Amazon Web Services Launches "Amazon S3"" (Press release). Amazon.com. 2006-03-14. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "A Decade of Innovation". Perspectives.mvdirona.com. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- "Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) FAQs". Amazon Web Services. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Barr, Jeff (November 21, 2016). "AWS Storage Update – S3 & Glacier Price Reductions + Additional Retrieval Options for Glacier". Amazon Web Services. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Using Amazon S3 in Digital Preservation in a mid sized academic library: A case study of CCSU ERIS digital archive system". The Code4Lib Journal. December 21, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Using Cloud Services: Three Case Studies". The Texas Record. May 13, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Han, Yan. "Cloud storage for digital preservation: optimal uses of Amazon S3 and Glacier". Library Hi Tech. ISSN 0737-8831. doi:10.1108/LHT-12-2014-0118.
- "Track changes while you edit - Office Support". Microsoft. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- "About Dropbox". Dropbox, Inc. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007, and received seed funding from Y Combinator.
- David Shaw. "Paperkey - an OpenPGP key archiver". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
Paperkey extracts just those secret bytes and prints them.From the NEWS file of the http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/paperkey-1.4.tar.gz source]: "Noteworthy changes in version 0.5 (2007-09-21) […] Initial release."
- Bruce Sterling (August 16, 2012). "PaperBack paper backup". WIRED. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Oleh Yuschuk (2007). "PaperBack". Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Karel 'Clock' Kulhavy (2007). "Twibright Optar". Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- cook (July 24, 2007). "Store data on paper with Twibright Optar". LWN.net. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Optar - Just Solve the File Format Problem". Archiveteam. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Newman, Andrew Adam (1 December 2014). "Bitly Helps the Red Cross Get to Hope.ly". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
Introduced in 2008, Bitly has grown rapidly because, along with shortening URLs for character-limited social media like Twitter, it helps users monitor how others subsequently share the links that they share.
- Bergman, Casey (November 8, 2012). "On the Preservation of Published Bioinformatics Code on Github". Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Rios, Fernando (April 28, 2016). "Beyond Data: Reproducibility in Scientific Software and the Role of Digital Preservation". Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "May, Rob, 'Backupify Turns 1 Year Old,' Backupify Blog, November 11, 2009". blog.backupify.com. 2009-11-15. Archived from the original on November 21, 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "Background". Europeana.eu. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
2008 Europeana's prototype is launched on November 20th by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, and the President of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
- Scott, Jason (January 6, 2009). "Team Archive is GO". ASCII by Jason Scott. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Revision history of "Main Page"". Archive Team. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Modine, Austin (April 28, 2009). "Web 0.2 archivists save Geocities from deletion. Preserving history one hideous webpage at a time". The Register. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Steve O'Hear (October 1, 2013). "SocialSafe Raises Further $1M, Microsoft 'Life-Log' Researcher Gordon Bell Becomes Investor And Advisor". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- "btrfs Wiki § Features". Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Wuelfing, Britta (12 January 2009). "Kernel 2.6.29: Corbet Says Btrfs Next Generation Filesystem". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Linux 2 6 29". Linux Kernel Newbies. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
Linux 2.6.29 kernel released on 23 March, 2009. […] Btrfs is a new filesystem developed from scratch following the design principles of filesystems like ZFS, WAFL, etc.
- "ISO 28500:2009 - Information and documentation -- WARC file format". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Fox, Geoff (2009-07-10). "Yahoo Sets the Date of GeoCities' Death". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Stone, Biz (April 14, 2010). "Tweet Preservation". Twitter Blog. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
It is our pleasure to donate access to the entire archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. […] It should be noted that there are some specifics regarding this arrangement. Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.
- "The Data Liberation Front Delivers Google Takeout". Google. June 28, 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Snover, Jeffrey (1 August 2012). "Windows Server 2012 released to manufacturing!". Windows Server Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Mlot, Stephanie (August 21, 2012). "Amazon Launches Glacier Cloud Storage Service". PCMag.com. Ziff Davis, Inc. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Jeff Barr (August 21, 2012). "Amazon Glacier: Archival Storage for One Penny Per GB Per Month". AWS Blog. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Pinola, Melanie (November 8, 2013). "How to Use Amazon Glacier as a Dirt Cheap Backup Solution". LifeHacker. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Fisher, John (February 15, 2015). "Super Cheap Data Backups with Amazon Glacier Storage". Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Broadley, Claire (February 4, 2015). "The Best Backup Tools for Amazon Glacier". Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Non-print legal deposit: FAQs". British Library. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
As of 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published digitally and online, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can provide a national archive of the UK's non-print published material, such as websites, blogs, e-journals and CD-ROMs.
- "Guidance on the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013" (PDF). UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport. April 5, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- O'Leary, M. (2013). The digital public library of america opens its doors. Information Today, 30(7), 20-21.
- Hölzle, Urs. "A second spring of cleaning". googleblog.blogspot.com. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "Google Reader". Archiveteam. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Google Reader/War room". Archiveteam. Retrieved December 30, 2016.