Digital vs Original Archive Materials

Based on what we learned and observed on Tuesday, as well as seeing the digital version of the old BLAST magazine, I find the comparison quite interesting. From what I have gathered from these, as well as personal experiences from classes, etc., it seems that educationally, there is little difference as to whether a person is reading an original, reprinted, or digital version of a text. The information is the same, and therefore a person will learn the same thing from the original that they would from a recently digitized copy.

At the same time, depending on one’s field, there may be benefits to certain versions of a text. For example, an original¬†document may serve a greater purpose from a historical standpoint, since one see the document in its current state after any given period. Also, a reprinted version may include slight modifications, so one could compare older texts with their originals. Still, a digital copy of an original work serves its own significant purpose, being to maintain the content of that older piece.

These are important ideas that accompany many works, especially textual ones. However, some works can best be understood based on their originals, such as pieces of art. Unlike text, which is most often black on white background, artwork is often composed of various shades of color, textures, and mediums, which is very difficult if not impossible to duplicate by means of a tangible or digital copy. Although these still slowly lose their original qualities, the historical significance and closest comparison to the piece when first created causes it to be the best version to view.


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