CAMiLEON project cracks twentieth-century ''Domesday book''
The Domesday Book, a 1086 inventory of English life composed by Norman
monks, can be easily read by anyone who can understand the Old English.
The 1986 BBC Domesday project, a digital archive of contemporary
British life created to mark the 900th anniversary of the original
Domesday Book, became essentially unreadable within a few years.
CAMiLEON project researchers at SI and the University of Leeds in the
U.K. have now developed a method for decoding this compendium of recent
BBC Domesday project includes contributions from more than one million
people across the U.K., including thousands of contributions from
school children and classrooms. This massive archive was encoded --
primarily in digital form -- on two long-lasting videodiscs. Because of
their data content, the Domesday discs could be used only with a
specially designed model of the Philips LaserVision player controlled
by either a BBC Master Microcomputer or a Research Machines Nimbus.
These computers are now obsolete.
CAMiLEON researchers have developed software that emulates the old BBC
microcomputer and videodisc reader, making the discs' data once again
CAMiLEON, which stands for Creative Archiving at Michigan and Leeds:
Emulating the Old on the New, is a collaboration devoted to the use of
emulation tools as part of a strategy for long-term preservation of
digital records. School of Information professor Margaret Hedstrom
directs the project.