An enormous library in Moscow, the The Academic Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION), suffered from a fire recently. While the library contains some historic texts and 14 million books, about 15% of the collection was affected or at risk. While it's only 15%, that's still a huge amount. The fire is still under investigation, but it seems that an electrical problem on the third floor might have been the cause.
This fire was thankfully able to be contained before everything was lost, but it brought to make academics minds the questions of if we need to be digitizing everything. In multiple forms. In every way possible.
And not just as digital information. If something happens, and things collapse, there might be no way to access digital information. Should we be spending more time preserving information in every form possible, or simply educating ourselves and hoping for the best?
It reminds me of the storehouse that is in one of the heads of Mount Rushmore that has copies of the most essential information about our country and our world, at least at the time in which it was placed there. Still, it's only a few essays, but just an interesting idea of ways we might want to consider preserving our histories.
What all would be lost if we lose all books and digital information and have no way to retrieve it? A lot. That's what.