May 16, 2022

Australia: “Retro Computer, Software Collection Helps National Library Access Digital Pieces”

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

One of the nation’s largest collections of vintage software and computer equipment has been forced to expand so the National Library of Australia (NLA) in Canberra can access valuable donations that are often in outdated digital formats.

Staff at the library started collecting obsolete computers, disk readers and outdated software when they realised how hard it was to open some computer files and digital images from the past 20 years.

NLA’s manager of digital preservation David Pearson said the storage vaults included everything from a working Commodore 64 computer, to one of the earliest word processing programs, Wordstar.


The NLA’s growing collection of backwardly compatible IT equipment has also attracted interest from other cultural institutions and archives facing similar problems.

“In digital preservation we don’t know of many other library’s that have a substantial collection of software like ours,” Mr Pearson said.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Digital Preservation Related Papers (via National Library of Australia)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.