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As the world becomes digital, one is in ever greater danger of losing business, scientific, artistic, cultural, and personal assets. The threat of such a digital dark age stems from the fact that - unlike physical records that may survive decades, centuries, or even longer without advanced planning - digital records will not survive without planning and diligence. Everything needed to keep digital records viable will become obsolete, including hardware, software, processes, and formats. Consequently, digital preservation environments are needed to ensure the ability to access valuable digital records decades from now and, more significantly, to ensure the interpretability of the records once accessed. The paper describes Preservation DataStores, an innovative storage architecture that facilitates robust and optimized preservation environments.
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