“I would like to turn now to the question of sustainability of our electronic resources, a concern for us at DOE. As Anglo-Saxonists, all of us have a long perspective because of our primary sources. Our Old English manuscripts survived the ravages of the Vikings in pre-Norman Conquest times, the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 under Henry the VIII, the fire in Robert Cotton’s library in 1731, and the chemical reagents employed by 19th century scholars seeking to read damaged manuscripts which in turn created even more damage. But will our electronic databases and dictionaries survive far enough into the future to allow us to understand these voices from the past?
“We are very concerned at present about the question of sustainability. We know that adherence to standards and open source helps give us longevity but is not a permanent solution.
“The question we ask of our markup and software is not just how useful is it for our research at this very moment, but will it have a future? Is it maintainable? Is it extensible? […]
“The past will only have a secure future if we all become advocates.”
Antonette diPaolo Healey, “The Future of the Past: Early English, Connectivity and Sustainability in a Digital Universe” in Ex Philologia Lux: Essays in Honour of Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, ed.Jukka Tyrkkö, Olga Timofeeva and Maria Salenius. Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki. Vol. 90 (Helsinki: Société Néophilologique 2013), 81-103.