Digital Preservation

by JL Beeken on 11-01-2010

Moving on to lighter matters. Preservation of your digital files.

If you think because your files are backed up to extra hard-drives and disks you’re good to go for the next hundred years, or even five, think again.

This past week I found metadata completely stripped from about 100 photos with no explanation for it. Now, I’m wondering if bit-loss is responsible. Bit-loss happens when your disks or drives deteriorate and data goes missing in random spots. A few words here, a few photos there. I’m not saying this is the problem. I’m just being a little bit (pun intended) paranoid. Or realistic, depending.

This is a must-read item:

White Paper: Preserving Your Family History Records Digitally

You can download the PDF; it’s only 15 pages and an easy read packed with information you should know.

If someone would like to send me an M-Writer and a lifetime supply of M-Discs that would be fabulous.

Christmas is coming again. I always give away genealogy gifts of some kind because I don’t know what else to do. And I’ve done it for so long I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel. I may have to pass out census records this year.

ScanDigital has a state-of-the-art video-transfer system which transfers footage from video tapes (VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, Hi8, BetaMax, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm) to DVD. So, if you have any of those hanging around fading away, it would be a good idea to stop the rot as soon as possible. They’ve set up some package deals with shipping both ways included.

They also scan and restore slides, photos, albums and negatives so if you need a break from that they can help you out. One of the restoration technologies they use (although not the only one) is Digital ICE. I once had about two hundred 25-year old dirty and faded color-slides put through that and they came out looking pristine. They were scanned at 2400 dpi and saved as JPGs which was fine since no further editing was required.

This is a U.S. company that ships anywhere in the world. They have a 1-800 number so if you have questions …

ScanDigital is a worthwhile site to visit regardless. There’s a wealth of information on photos, slides, negatives and film of every kind.

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