‘When Irreplaceable History Lives On in Obsolete Tech’

Another fascinating story on important historical and cultural artifacts in danger of disappearing because of obsolete technology. Again, why I am in library school:

How much more irreplaceable information, whether historical treasures or family moments, resides on obsolete formats, decaying in archives and closets? And even if the information is salvageable, what happens if we’ve already lost the software or hardware needed to read it?


Magnetic formats are beginning to decay, and early generations of computer disks and videotape are wearing away as you read this. And as we’re just beginning to understand, optical media such as the first generation of compact discs are beginning to degrade, which begs the question of whether or not DVDs are far behind. In other words: All formats are decaying. And in the process, so are memories and archives and first-hand accounts. As the clock winds down on some of the formats, it’s important to archive them before they’re lost forever.

Read the entire story at Popular Mechanics.


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