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Future Work

Considering the exponential growth of technology in recent times, and making emphasis on the short period of time this growth has been achieved in, it is difficult to make predictions about the development of new technologies in the short term i.e. over the next ten to twenty years. It follows that a prediction about long term or very long term future technologies is a virtual impossibility. Future work nevertheless, will focus on making the Archon system core evolve to keep up as much as possible with the higher technologies of the future. Examples of future higher technologies may be Artificial Intelligence engines run from Quantum Computer systems. The term Quantum Computer here may be interpreted as “… computation that is primarily about information, probabilities, and observables, and how they relate to each other.”3

The Archon database currently manages close to 199,000 records, a large number of images and photographs as well as audio records of first hand testimonials of the evacuation of the Gibraltarians during World War Two and growing. Work to complete the task is expected to continue for some years to come.

A W Pitaluga
Archivist
Gibraltar National Archives 2014

References

1. Archon from the Greek Arkheion:”… initially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates [in ancient Athens], the archons. The archons were considered to possess the right to make or to represent the law. On account of their publicly recognized authority, it is at their home, that official documents' are filed."

The Arkheion, the dwelling, this place where documents' dwell permanently, marks the institutional passage from the private to the public.” (Derrida 1995)2

2. Jacques Derrida Archive fever: a Freudian Impression
1995 The John Hopkins University Press
ISBN-13:978-0-226-14367-5(paper)
Originally published as Mal d'Archive: une impression freudienne

3. Scott Aaronson Quantum Computing Since Democritus
S.Aaronson 2013
Published by Cambridge University Press
www.cambridge.org/9780521199568
ISBN 978-0-521-19956-8

Gibraltar National Archives
Archivist Preface

In 2012 the Gibraltar National Archives initiated a long-term digitisation programme of its records and images aimed at creating, a linking passage, that extends the physical, the “real world” of the Archives into the digital realm, providing permanent, long term, preservation and access of information.

We are at the initial stages of creating a comprehensive catalogue of our holdings with the intention of establishing an electronic repository to disseminate and gather information freely and publically via the Internet.

Digitisation and Dissemination Strategy

Archon1 Gibraltar National Archives collections database management system is based on the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, Open Archival Information System – OAIS.

Archon has been created around the OAIS paradigm that has proved useful not only to space data systems but also to a wide variety of other organizations and institutions with digital archiving needs. At its rawest the model employs a trilogy of components; production, ingestion and consumption.

Archon already provides and gathers information and resources remotely. In addition, future work will also focus on how to mitigate the biggest technological revolution of all times, en route to a higher technology era, where new advancements will very quickly make previous models extinct while at the same time not compromising service.

The purpose of Archon is to establish a core, long term preservation digital repository that is useful, usable and securely accessible for both the academic and the general public well into the future.

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