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Digital Access in the Future



Scanning your treasure family photos and documents is very necessary. However, make sure you also have all those scanned images on several different storage devices — including flash drives, discs, external and portable storage devices. Plus make sure other members of the family have copies or copies are kept in a safe deposit box. Now that takes care of now, but what about in 20 years, will you be able to read and access those digital files? Also, all those email messages, are there ones you wanted saved?

True, we have no idea what type of devices will be available in 20 years and what method of preservation will exist. The key is to keep up-to-date. After a newer device or method of preserving or transferring digital images and documents comes on the market, give it a few months for all the ‘bugs’ to be worked out, talk to others who have started to use the newer items and then get your digital collection transferred. This especially has to be done before the method of playing the original digital material is no longer available. Remember the ‘floppy discs’ – those square items you put documents on? Where can they be inserted and accessed –the answer is no where.  

Another problem, is not to let your digital files, videos and images just remain on an old computer or camera. That computer or camera might not work one day or worst the digital items could have broken down and not readable anymore.

If you have a good size museum nearby, check with them what is the method they are storing and preserving even for long into the future their digital archives. Museum experts have to be two-steps ahead to make sure all their archives are saved.

Start now, do back-ups of all your family photos, videos and document, then keep informed of new technology.

Photos: Digital files, Floppy Discs, Flash Drive, and portable storage.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Saving Documents

Digital Scrapbook

Preservation of Family Artifacts

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