The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.This is one urban legend that won't die. Genealogists, historians, and many other well-meaning folks will tell each other, "Since microfilm longevity is stated as 200 years and electronic media will become obsolete within a few short years, let's continue to preserve the microfilm masters for as long as possible as a fall-back option." Another comment I read recently claimed, “The problem with digital images is that the media on which they are written become obsolete every few years. Try to find a way to read an old 5.25 inch floppy disk today. Also, the programs used to write and read the images are no longer supported after a few years. “
Normally, I'd use a stronger expletive, but this is a family-oriented newsletter.
I don't disagree with everything stated. Keeping back-up copies on microfilm or on paper or on whatever media it was created on is a wonderful idea. The more backups available on more types of media, the better. I would strongly encourage keeping backup copies on microfilm and on paper and keeping those copies for as long as possible. However, never depend on paper or microfilm to last forever. I will contend that digital copies can last longer than can microfilm or paper.
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