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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT/ calculating the future / Use LTO's

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <pattac@xxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> ----- there is one good reason: after this crucial initial step, you will be
> able to clone your way in preservation: noise- and distortionless migration,
> but obviously you need to know what your fields in the metadata refer to.
> While I lament the lack of a century medium, that medium should be digital,
> to go with a century system. That, obviously, is also the only relevant for
> born-digital material. Richard's labor-intensive use of Gold Discs is
> presently the best on offer, and that is frustrating. Robots exist that would
> do that, however.
Well, there is one more important and often-overlooked point to ponder...
will the preservation format be readable without using preserved vintage

A century ago, most businesses preserved their incoming information by
placing received documents in physical file folders/cabinets...and their
outgoing information via carbon-paper copies, which were standard office
practice of that era. That data, insofar as it has survived, is still,
of course accessible...being paper documents in whatever language is

However, some future-thinking companies dictated outgoing correspondence
using some type of cylinder-format recorder...and the resultant cylinder
records can only be accessed via the machines which were used to create
them (if known).

As well, outgoing documents may have been preserved in the form of paper
documents containing shorthand notation...and shorthand is a dying art!

So...the question becomes (and is even more important, given the fact
that our "preservation documents" are created using hardware and
currently-understood "software"...) How much of our "for the next
century" information will be easily accessible in 2107?

For example, suppose the data had been saved c.1990 using 5.25"
floppy discs...how many institutions or individuals have the hardware
to read those...?!

Steven C. Barr

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