Cybernetica Mesopotamica

A Balzan Foundation Research Project

III. The goals

The digital future

Giorgio Buccellati – April 2023

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Portability as a problem

Two major benefits of digital publishing vis-à-vis standard paper publishing is the very limited cost of production and distribution, and the wide reach it offers for potential readers.

But it is inherently ephemeral, for two primary reasons. In the first place, it depends on carriers that may not last for extended periods of time, and (2) it depends on platforms that change at a very rapid pace, often making it impossible to access files that were produced in formats no longer supported.

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One solution is to depend on archives, such as the California Digital Library or the Internet Archive.

We are currently exploring the possibility of storing the results of our project with the UCLA institutional repository, see for example The Archaeology of Grotta Scaloria. We will also look at other venues as well.

We have also established a backup site of our own at Beola, which will serve as a potential mirror site.

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The Steering Committee

But we feel that a more radical solution is needed. To this end, we plan to establish an endowment within IIMAS, and a Steering Committee associated with it. The Steering Committee will secure that, beyond maintaining a proper website function, upgrades in programming and platform access will keep the functioning of the websites current. This should be fully operative by the end of the Balzan phase of the project.

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