How should I store scans of old photographs?

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I’m in charge of scanning old family photo albums (dating back to the 1800s), and an saving them on CDs. After reading many articles, I am confused as to what I should use to save them on. CDs, USBs, external hard drives…. Do you have a suggestion? I don’t want a future generation to go to look or print from them, and find that they no longer are accessible.

Well, the short answer is that I would wave you off of CDs right away. For something that important, I think other solutions are called for.

As I’ve discussed before, the continual progress of storage technologies is an ongoing issue. What we choose today might not be appropriate in a few years or a few decades.

Rather than tell you what you should do, let me tell you what I do in case my photographs are ever of interest to future generations.

Read moreHow should I store scans of old photographs?

Are we at risk of losing our digital information over time?

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Today, lots of information is being stored electronically. Years ago, it was on books that lasted 100’s of years, if you wanted. Try reading a 1984 3.1/2 floppy disk or worst, a 5.1/2. The 8 inchers are before my computing time (I saw them on Wargames). The ones with the reels that stopped and started are really unreadable. I also used a tape drive on a commodore Vic 20. If I did not hoard this stuff, it would be all unreadable, as I have not used this stuff in 34 years. So are humans in danger of losing knowledge on this? Magnetic media degrades faster than paper books or doesn’t it?

I think you raise a very good point.

While I still feel that digital information is vastly superior to analog counterparts like paper in most respects, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t drawbacks – often serious drawbacks – with storing information digitally.

And one of those drawbacks is progress.

Read moreAre we at risk of losing our digital information over time?