Digital Archaeology

I was staring at a blank screen when my colleague David came into my office. I semi-jokingly asked him for a blog topic.

All the computer I grew up using, some rights reserved, by flickr user aeioux

All the computers I grew up using, some rights reserved, by flickr user aeioux

“I have one for you,” he replied. “Content Archaeology. Discuss.” And with that he left my office.

People know that I trained as an archaeologist and did fieldwork in multiple locations.  I still think of myself as a social scientist. This phrase resonates with me, and is a concept that I have discussed with others, more often under the rubric of “digital archaeology.”  There is also the practice of using digital tools in archaeology, but that’s for another post.

In researching this, I did a bit of content archaeology myself. In the writing this morphed into a bit of a “Before You Were Born” post as well. This is a VERY truncated list of what one might consider digital archaeology.

There is some holy grail content that the greater community would love to be found so digital archaeology and preservation actions could be taken, such as the full set of Apollo moon landing 11 tapes or the lost Dr. Who episodes.

How do you define “Content Archaeology” or Digital Archaeology”? What lost content would you like to see recovered?