‘Cathy’ Comic on Library of Congress Site

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By: E&P Staff

The Library of Congress — which is leading a national digital-preservation effort — is displaying the Oct. 1, 2006, “Cathy” comic on its Web site (http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/news/index.html), reported Universal Press Syndicate.

In the strip by Cathy Guisewite, Cathy warns Irving of digital-preservation pitfalls after being confidently told that “all our photos are safely stored on the computer.” Cathy has answers to all of Irving’s statements, as she asks things like “What if the computer crashes?” and “What if the site goes down?”

Then, in the comic’s final frame, Cathy says, “At least we’ll always have the prints.” That makes Irving skeptical, too, as he asks: “What if they weren’t printed on acid-free, archival paper…?”

“The Library was interested in the using the strip because it shows how digital-preservation affects everyone, not just libraries, and because it demonstrates that digital-preservation issues are now being discussed in popular media,” stated Guy Lamolinara, a Library spokesman.

“Cathy,” which started in 1976, appears in about 1,400 newspapers via Universal.

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