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It is projected that by 2025, humanity will have outgrown our capacity to store the large volumes of data we create. In just five years, storing data using spinning or solid-state disk drives will no longer be sustainable, economically viable or environmentally responsible. DNA storage has the potential to vastly exceed capacity for writing disk and tape, but with dramatically smaller physical space, energy requirements and greatly increased stability. This is the first time two renowned international institutions, the International Olympic Committee and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, have used DNA to store video data and it is a world-first for Archives.  

In this presentation, Yasmin Meichtry, Associate Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage and Jan Müller, CEO of the NFSA will demonstrate the potential of DNA as an archival storage mechanism. The presentation follows the joint pilot of how to store a video on DNA. The chosen video represents a significant moment in both Australian and Olympic history: Cathy Freeman’s gold winning run at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. A meaningful and appropriate part of both the IOC’s and NFSA’s archives - defining the culture and values of Australia and the Olympics. Step by step, in this talk the IOC and NFSA will present the nature and background of the partnership, the process of synthesising and preserving on DNA (in collaboration with a technology partner and university) and eventually: show how a digitally preserved video on DNA looks like.

Attend an get a closer understanding of this emerging and potentially revolutionary technology and find out how you could potentially participate in the next steps of DNA storage for cultural heritage institutions.

This session took place at Europeana 2020.

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  • Join the EuropeanaTech Community to find out more about research and development for European digital cultural heritage, network with peers and hear about relevant events, resources and opportunities.

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