Swiss Touch at the U.S. National Archives

Keeping Up with Digital Information

Swiss Touch Table in the Rotunda of the U.S. National Archives
Swiss Touch Table in the Rotunda of the U.S. National Archives ©Embassy of Switzerland

Swiss Touch makes a stop at the Rotunda of the U.S. National Archives, where the original American Constitution can be found! The Swiss Touch table was not only in this amazing venue, but we also held a discussion about potential solutions for preserving the millions of digital data records produced on a daily basis from the U.S. and Swiss standpoints! If you are curious to know what else was said about the future of digital information, stay tuned for a soon to be released video on our social media channels!

The first official event with the Swiss Touch table in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall was soon followed by another in the incredible venue of the Rotunda of the U.S. National Archives, where the original American Constitution can be found. Although the location was already a statement in itself, we held a panel discussion on potential solutions for preserving the millions of digital data records produced on a daily basis, the methods for selecting what’s important and worth storing in the digital age and contextualizing visual images for the future. Remarks were given by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero as well as Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States Martin Dahinden. The panelists included top-notch experts in the field such as Laura K. Donohue, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Claudio Marforio, cofounder of Futurae Technologies AG, and Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer at the National Archives. The panel discussion was moderated by Ali Breland, technology reporter for The Hill.

The stimulating conversation focused on the experts’ fascinating reflections on the challenges that will be encountered in the future:

“The challenge the US National Archives faces is the explosion of social media & 3rd-party websites, how to store all the information.” - Pamela Wright

“As technological advances produce digital data at an exponential rate, we must address the challenge of having to store, preserve and secure our digital history. The National Archives is the perfect venue to convene these experts to brainstorm solutions for this pressing challenge.” Ambassador of Switzerland to the U.S. Martin Dahinden

“Given that we have over 13 billion pages of records, this is our moon shot. We need to think in radically new ways about our processes, and hold discussions like the one tonight. Personally, as a longtime advocate of digitization, I’m excited to explore new ways to make digital access happen.” Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.

Panelists from left to right: Professor of Law at Georgetown University Laura K. Donohue, technology reporter for The Hill Ali Breland, Chief Innovation Officer at the National Archives Pamela Wright and cofounder of Futurae Technologies AG  Claudio Marforio.
Panelists from left to right: Professor of Law at Georgetown University Laura K. Donohue, technology reporter for The Hill Ali Breland, Chief Innovation Officer at the National Archives Pamela Wright and cofounder of Futurae Technologies AG Claudio Marforio. ©Embassy of Switzerland
Swiss Ambassdor Martin Dahinden Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero looking at the digital features of the Swiss Touch Table
Swiss Ambassdor Martin Dahinden Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero looking at the digital features of the Swiss Touch Table ©Embassy of Switzerland
From left to right: Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
From left to right: Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero ©Embassy of Switzerland