How should I store scans of old photographs?

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?

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?