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Subject: CD-rom longevity

CD-rom longevity

From: Maria Grandinette <maria.grandinette>
Date: Saturday, December 2, 1989
    **** Moderator's comments:   I *think* that this message, which
    was taken from PACS-L,an electronic forum concerned with online
    public access library systems (online public access catalogs,
    etc), was provided by Maria Grandinette.  (my book keeping was
    scrambled a bit by a disk crash).

    Date: 30 Oct 89
    From: LIBWDS%SUVM.BITNET [at] Forsythe__Stanford__EDU
    Subject:  CD ROM-Optical Disks -- Archival Storage

    The interest in using optical and magnetic based systems for
    storage and dissemination is growing at an enormous rate.
    Unfortunately there are no standards for many of these devices
    and no available independent life expectancy testing of the
    various proposed media. Further, there is no assurance that the
    playback systems necessary to retrieve data will be supported in
    the long term by manufacturers. Major investments at this time
    are premature. Pushing in this direction however is not.

    Over-zealous marketing claims in this field have led to equally
    negative press about those claims. As a recent subscriber to
    PACS-L, the mail I have seen reflects these two poles of
    enthusiasm vs. skepticism.

    I would caution against this topic becoming a matter of
    "faith"-- those who would like to believe the problems have
    already been solved or those who would like to believe new
    technology simply isn't needed. Expeditious pragmatic study
    along with interaction with the manufacturing community is

    This process has already begun. As of June 1989, the American
    National Standards Institute (ANSI) Formed the Joint Technical
    Commission on Optical and Magnetic Systems (including media).
    The United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization
    (UNESCO) has begun support of a technical coordinating Committee
    to look at related concerns of the International Federations of
    Film, Video and Sound Archives. These are two of a number of
    groups that are trying to work together to access these
    technologies and allow users to make reasonable decisions for
    their application.

    Another example comes from the Audio Engineering Society's
    subcommittee for Audio Preservation and Restoration. This
    subcommittee is comprised of manufacturers and archivists. As of
    October 17, 1989 this group's consensus is that analog
    reel-to-reel tape is to be used for long term storage of audio
    signals. Digital storage media are not recommended at this time.
    Why? The primary concern is a lack of equipment standards that
    would insure data retrieval over a long time period.

    The marriage of the equipment with the media has become a
    number-one priority in the decision-making process.

    The following is a press release from the ANSI Commission:

                Permanence of Magnetics and Optical Disks

         Curators and users of magnetic materials and optical disks
         have been concerned with the lack of standards and
         specifications on the permanence of these media and the
         appropriate systems. This need has led to independent
         action by the Audio Engineering Society (Subcommittee S4)
         and by the American National Standards Institute (Committee
         IT9). These two organizations have recently joined forces
         and set up a Joint Technical Commission which will report
         both to Committee IT9 and AES. Twenty- five members
         attended the first organizational meeting of this
         commission in Syracuse, New York on June 19-20, 1989. At
         this meeting the following scope was agreed upon: "To write
         standards, test methods, recommended practices and
         specifications pertaining to the life expectancy and
         retrieval of information recorded on optical and magnetic
         systems (including media) and to promote communication and
         coordinate the exchange of information among those involved
         in this field."

         To accomplish these goals, five task groups were organized.
         Task Group I will prepare definitions dealing with the life
         expectancy of photographic film, magnetic materials and
         optical disks which can apply to all three media. Task
         Group II will prepare two storage and handling recommended
         procedures, one on magnetic material and the second on
         optical disks. Task Group III will prepare a document on
         transfer technology which will address the need to transfer
         from an obsolete media and/or format to a current one. Task
         Group IV will prepare specifications on optical systems and
         Task Group V on magnetic systems. In keeping with the scope
         of the commission, Task Groups IV and V will be involved
         not only with the permanence of the media itself but also
         the associated hardware and software.

         Organizations wishing to participate n the activities of
         these task groups should contact the co-chairmen of the
         commission, William Storm, Syracuse University, Belfer
         Audio Lab, 222 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY, 13244, or Peter
         Adelstein, Rochester Institute of Technology, Image
         Permanence Institute, RIT City Center, 50 W. Main St.,
         Rochester, NY 14614.

    P. Adelstein
    W. Storm

                   Conservation DistList Instance 3:3
                Distributed: Saturday, October 28, 1989
                        Message Id: cdl-3-3-003
Received on Saturday, 2 December, 1989

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