I did it: I finally found a published, explicit suggestion of emulation as a necessary strategy for digital preservation that predates Rothenberg


(I have found a number of papers and reports from roughly the late '80s through the early '90s that describe the encroaching problems of digital preservation for archives and records management - software and hardware obsolescence, a shift from physical preservation strategies to copying and redundancy, etc. - but none until now that specifically suggest emulation as a solution or route meriting exploration)


I'm rather fascinated that in this instance - again, the earliest I've found, three years before Rothenberg's Scientific American article - it's specifically in the context of what we would now think of as migration-via-emulation, i.e. keeping emulators for the purpose of translation/conversion to a modern system, rather than presenting data in an emulated system as an access strategy in and of itself. This feels significant/formative...

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