LIMA investigates sustained access to CD-ROM art

Blog post
CD-ROM artwork The Second. Comparison test of emulated version and version on original equipment

A new report, “CD-ROM archiving: Archiving and distribution of CD-ROM artworks, a study of the Emulation as a Service (EaaS) tool and other proposals”, is now available online (PDF). It was researched and drawn up by LIMA with support from the Digital Heritage Network. Please find here also the Dutch version of the report. 

Sustained access to works of art on CD-ROM
In the 1990s, many digital works of art were created specifically for CD-ROM, but the preservation of this type of art is now under threat. Computers with CD-ROM drives are becoming less and less common, operating systems in use at the time have become outdated, and files are often unreadable. In response to this threat, LIMA, the international platform for sustained access to media art, collaborated with the Digital Heritage Network and the Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (NCDD) to investigate ways of preserving and ensuring sustained accessibility of this type of digital cultural heritage. Researchers Nina van Doren and Alexandre Michaan focused on the strategy of emulation: a method in which the original, outdated computer functions are simulated.

Evaluating the EaaS emulation tool
Van Doren and Michaan evaluated the potential of an archiving strategy based on EaaS, an emulation tool and service developed by the University of Freiburg. Based on testing, they have developed a new methodology for managing and maintaining access to CD-ROM art using emulation. The step-by-step manual outlined in the report can be used by other researchers and experts. Three CD-ROM artworks from LIMA's collection served as the basis for this study. These and the eighteen other works in the collection will be preserved for posterity using the newly developed strategy. See the research report [PDF]

Digital Heritage Network
LIMA's study is part of the Sustainable Digital Heritage work package: a series of projects and case studies, all aimed at ensuring the continued accessibility of digital information in the Netherlands. This work package, in turn, is part of the National Digital Heritage Strategy set out by the Digital Heritage Network. The NCDD was tasked with carrying out this work package. Alongside other case studies, this investigation has contributed to increased knowledge and coordination of collection building within the Digital Heritage Network.

More information
If you have any questions specifically related to this study, please contact the researchers, Nina van Doren and Alexandre Michaan. General inquiries about LIMA should be addressed to
Finally, for questions regarding the NCDD or the Sustainable Digital Heritage work package, please contact the NCDD.