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Núm. 25 (2022): Tiempos modernos. Una agenda 2025 para los archivos

Fijeza y fluidez en el mundo digital

January 19, 2023



La transición al ámbito digital ha introducido nuevos y potentes métodos para acceder a los archivos y compartirlos, pero también ha traído consigo nuevos retos. La fluidez y la variabilidad han llevado a sugerir que las antiguas concepciones de la naturaleza estable de los archivos deben sustituirse por conceptos más nuevos adecuados a la era digital. Por supuesto, se pueden identificar una serie de acepciones en las que los documentos de archivo se pueden considerar adecuadamente mutables. Pero si los documentos digitales fueran totalmente fluidos, serían incapaces de comunicar sus mensajes. En este artículo se defiende que la sociedad sigue necesitando documentos con capacidad para garantizar la rendición de cuentas, dar testimonio de hechos pasados y sostener derechos y obligaciones, y que tales documentos siguen requiriendo grados adecuados de estabilidad y contextualización. Aunque se ha afirmado que las características fundamentales de los archivos y los documentos de archivo se han visto alteradas en el entorno digital, su naturaleza no ha pasado de la fijeza a la fluidez constante o total. Los archivos siguen cumpliendo sus funciones, y no tenemos por qué ver los archivos digitales como algo diferente de los creados en épocas anteriores.

The transition to the digital realm has introduced powerful new methods of accessing and sharing archives, but it has also brought new challenges. The fluidity and variability have led to suggestions that older understandings of the stable nature of archives should be replaced with newer concepts appropriate to the digital age. Of course, it is possible to identify a number of senses in which archival documents can appropriately be seen as mutable. But if digital documents were wholly fluid, they would be unable to communicate their messages. This article argues that society continues to need documents with the power to underwrite accountability, to testify to past events, and to sustain rights and obligations, and that such documents still require appropriate degrees of stability and contextualization. Although it has been claimed that the fundamental characteristics of archives and archival documents have been altered in the digital environment, their nature has not changed from fixity to constant or total fluidity. Archives continue to serve their functions, and we need not see digital archives as something different from those created in earlier eras.


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