Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files

grarpamp grarpamp at
Wed Mar 6 14:49:05 PST 2019

Online, you'll find people who use hashtags like "#digitalhoarder" and
hang out in the 120,000-subscriber Reddit forum called /r/datahoarder,
where they trade tips on building home data servers, share collections
of rare files from video game manuals to ambient audio records, and
discuss the best cloud services for backing up files. The often
stereotyped hoarders letting heaps of physical items of questionable
utility dominate their homes and lives often suffer social stigma and
anxiety as a result. By contrast, many self-proclaimed digital
hoarders say they enjoy their collections, can keep them contained in
a relatively small amount of physical space, and often take pleasure
in sharing them with other hobbyists or anyone who wants access to the
same public data.

[...] Many people active in the data hoarding community take pride in
tracking down esoteric files of the kind that often quietly disappear
from the internet -- manuals for older technologies that get taken
down when manufacturers redesign their websites, obscure punk show
flyers whose only physical copies have long since been pulled from
telephone poles and thrown in the trash, or episodes of old TV shows
too obscure for streaming services to bid on -- and making them
available to those who want them.

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