PRESERVING OUR DIGITAL HERITAGE
Researchers from Flinders University are on a mission to document Australia and New Zealand’s digital heritage – from amateur-made computer games of the 80s to a contemporary software program that forensically sanitises computers.
“Much of it is outdated and runs on obsolete systems so it’s at considerable risk of being lost unless we create sites like the AHSD where the diverse and dispersed knowledge of computer software can be pooled and shared,” she said.
“It’s not just early accounting or word processing packages either – in the early days of computing people often wrote their own software on weird and wonderful subjects so this project will give us insights into how the first generation of home computers was used.”
Dr Swalwell said she is appealing for public help to build the database.
“The knowledge is out there but it’s in the community, not in libraries or other record-keeping collections and the software itself is deteriorating fast – already some of it doesn’t work and we don't want this material to be lost forever.
“The general public and specialist fans and collectors know a lot about software and computer history, that’s why we’re asking people to pitch in and help us build a publicly accessible database of this information.”