This week’s blogging question raises an age old dilemma in the research and archive fields – how best to preserve texts/documents/images/artifacts/data, etc.? Evidently there are benefits and drawbacks to every medium. Therefore I have relied on combination of print and electronic archiving methods. In recent years, the text/documents/images I have either created and/or gathered have been stored using a combination of three different approaches – print version (hardcopy), electronic version (either saved to a harddrive and/or burned onto a disc) and digital copy either stored in my email or cloud computing. While this may not be a “fool proof” solution I believe by storing the same text on a variety of medium increases the likelihood of the text being preserved and therefore it also increases the likelihood of it remaining accessible for many years.
For example, last month I accessed computer text files that I created back in 1998 which a few years later I transferred the text onto an external hard drive. I also had a print version of the same text but was unable to locate the physical copy. While this is still a relatively short time period I was still very impressed that the electronic version of the text was still intact and that I was able to access it.
– Frieda M.