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Abstract

This research investigated preservation practices of personal digital information by public library users. This qualitative study used semistructured interviews and two visual representation techniques, information source horizons and matrices, for data collection. The constant comparison method and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. A model emerged which describes the effects of social, cognitive, and affective influences on personal preservation decisions as well as the effects of fading cognitive associations and technological advances, combined with information escalation over time. Because the preservation of personal digital information involves personal, social, and technological interactions, the integration of these factors is necessary for a viable solution to the digital preservation problem.