Here's another example of how preserving information only on paper is high risk. Institute d'Egypte, a research center set up by Napoleon Bonaparte during France's invasion in the late 18th century, caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt's military over the weekend. It was home to a treasure trove of writings, most notably the handwritten 24-volume Description de l'Egypte, compiled during the 1798-1801 French occupation. Most of the 192,000 books, journals and writings were damaged beyond repair.
The research center caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt's military over the weekend.
The Description of Egypt, which French scientists began writing in 1798, is likely burned beyond repair. Its home, the two-story historic institute near Tahrir Square, is now in danger of collapsing after the roof caved in. Most of the contents were destroyed in the fire that raged for over 12 hours on Saturday. Firefighters then flooded the building with water in order to douse the flames. The water also added to the damage.
You can read more in an article by Aya Batrawy in MSNBC.com at http://goo.gl/3I7Qy.
OPINION: I will suggest that all valuable documents worldwide need to be copied to other media and multiple copies should be stored in multiple locations. In the case of the historic library in Egypt, loss of the originals is always tragic. However, if photocopies or microfilm copies or scanned digital copies had been made and stored elsewhere in multiple locations, future scholars still would have had access to the information.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others. Tweet it, share it on Google+, Facebook or on your preferred social network.
Republishing of this article in newsletters, blogs, and elsewhere is allowed and encouraged, with a few minor restrictions. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/hoHH1.
Of course, if you haven’t done so already, you should join my email newsletter mailing list to stay current on my latest articles and announcements. You can also cancel at any time within seconds. I promise to never, ever send you any unrequested e-mail, other than newsletter updates.