Week 10 – Text Preservation

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.



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2 responses to “Week 10 – Text Preservation

  1. I think you make a very good point. Because technology is continuously changing, we must do everything we can do adapt to these changes. Rather than saving our documents through one method, saving through multiple methods increases the possibility of preservation in the future.

    Victoria Grant

  2. Hi Frieda,
    I’m glad that you mentioned storing documents via email. I send all my major assignments (working copy and final) to my email account for several reasons: (1) after some computer breakdowns over the years I’ve lost documents that I wanted to keep, (2) fear of misplacing the memory stick, and (3) the comfort that I know I can access my work from anywhere.

    I do wonder about the safety (i.e., privacy) of storing documents over email like gmail and UofT email account. Would it be unethical to store other people’s sensitive information on this medium?


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