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.
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.
Therefore, 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, I am 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. One can argue the benefits of digital media, which are considerable. However, the "old fashioned" photograph still stands as a reliable archival document.
Here are some links to help you sort out the pros and cons...
- FAQs on How to Preserve Your Home Movies, CDs, Videos and more
- FAQ #1: Frequently Asked Questions on Caring for CDs and Their Longevity
- FAQ #2: Frequently Asked Questions on Caring for Computer Hard Disks and Diskettes
- FAQ #3: Frequently Asked Questions on Caring for Electronically Created Media in General
- FAQ #4: Frequently Asked Questions on Caring for Photographs, Digital Images and Films
- FAQ #5: Frequently Asked Questions on Caring for Video and Audio Recordings
- FAQs sur Comment préserver vos films, CD, cassettes et autres documents électroniques
- FAQ 1 : Foire aux questions relatives aux soins des CD et à leur longévité
- FAQ 2 : Foire aux questions relatives à la préservation des disques durs et des disquettes
- FAQ 3 : Foire aux questions relatives aux soins généraux des supports d'enregistrement électroniques
- FAQ 4 : Foire aux questions relatives aux soins des photographies, des images numériques et des films
- FAQ 5 : Foire aux questions relatives aux soins des enregistrements vidéo et audio
Other Preservation Links...
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)
More articles exploring the subject of preserving digital documents.