Where has all the paper gone?

A friend recently e-mailed me with a comment about the decline of newspapers that had never crossed my mind:

“We are disappearing from the archaeological record.”

How interesting! I wonder what concerns archaeologists have about the digital world?

What is the importance of physical artifacts to understanding ourselves, or our history? In what ways are physical artifacts distinct from digital ones?

Is it even true that digital records are less durable than physical ones?

I’m sure this topic has been on the minds of archaeologists for a little while, really, considering that digital archives of information are not entirely new. But no one seems to mention it, at least not that I’ve come across.

To the library!

::: Updates :::

March 31: Coincidentally, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo was wondering the same thing, only in the realm of books — arguably, a greater concern than newspapers.

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