Storing and Preserving Family Photographs
It is important to consider the relative benefits of preserving
your important family records in a digital or analog format. Here are some links
to help you sort out the pros and cons...
While digital media has the ability to last very long durations, the software,
operating systems, file formats and indeed hardware will become obselete very
quickly or may simply fail. In other words, the readability of the digital media
will expire relatively quickly without proper maintenance. So, take great care
of your digital media.
On the other hand, the photo and it's container, the photo
album do not require any special device to read them. They are accessible to
anyone, can easily be shared or transported and are relatively archival. Witness
any one who has the pleasure of looking at old family photos. Personally, we are very concerned that there will be significant gaps in family histories that rely entirely on digital media, despite their many advantages.
This is a complex subject and one can argue the benefits of digital media, which are considerable. However, the "old fashioned" photograph still stands as a reliable archival document.
The Canadian Conservation Institute
CCI has a variety of print and online resources to help with the care and conservation of photographs:
Institut canadien de conservation
L'ICC a une gamme de ressources imprimées et en ligne pour vous aider avec les soins et la conservation des médias électroniques.
Other Preservation Links...
Caring for Your Family Archives
Creating and Managing Digital Content - Canadian Heritage Information Network
Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Information
by Jeff Rothenberg
In this article, Jeff Rothenberg discusses the fragile nature of digitally recorded information and the numerous factors, technological and otherwise, that must be addressed if we are to ensure the continued accessibility of this information over time. The article is an expanded version of the article "Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents" that appeared in the January 1995 edition of Scientific American (Vol. 272, Number 1, pp.42-7). (pdf format)
Jeff Rothenberg's Digital Longevity Papers