What backup medium lasts 50 years and will be as easy to restore in 2056 as it is now? Mike Johnston writes that computers and backup systems are too complex today and that, “we shouldn’t all need to gradually become full-time archivists” to hold on to precious memories for decades. There are some great comments, and Mike has summarised a few of the ideas expressed in a follow up post. I may even purchase that DAM book.
What is that medium? I don’t know, but it was prompted by Mike’s story when he was cleaning up a bench in a darkroom:
“On the floor behind it, in all the dust and spiderwebs, I found a strip of three 120 negatives. The picture in the middle was of a nude woman in one of those 1940s-style pinup poses that hide as much as they reveal.
Naturally, I cleaned off the negative and made a print of it.
It wasn’t a very good picture, and the negative had been underdeveloped. The point is that it was at least 50 years old at the time, and it had lasted all that time—not only without pampering, but in the absence of human care of any sort.”