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Macaulay Library engineers are engaged in a dramatic race against time to convert the world's largest animal recording collection from analog to digital and preserve as much information as possible for future scientists. Since 1999, they've digitized one-third of the collection, and amassed 4 Tbytes of data. The sound collection dates back to 1929, and many of the earliest magnetic tape recordings have long since passed their expected lifetimes. Tapes are degrading--literally losing magnetic particles--with every play. But they aren't alone in their need to preserve massive amounts of information. From high-energy physics to climate science to biology, new instruments are gathering more experimental data that need to be retained for the long term. Meanwhile, other scientists need to retain results from huge computer simulations.
archiving, data sets, digitizing, analog conversion, data storage

P. F. Gorder, "Not Just for the Birds: Archiving Massive Data Sets," in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 8, no. , pp. 3-7, 2006.
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