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Photo by Joe Nangle I’ve been having some trust issues lately. There’s a popular archival supplier whose products seem to be slipping in quality. Then they sent out an email with claims about CD longevity that were misleading at best, utterly false at worst. This is a HUGE dilemma for me. If I can’t trust […]

Wait! I’m getting a vision… Yes, it’s getting clearer… You have a box of old, unsorted photos at home. Oh, I crack myself up. I read an entertaining article online called “I see dumb people” – Learn to cold-read like a so-called “psychic.” Apparently, one of the tricks is to be as vague as possible […]

Hard drive failure. It’s a nightmare, no doubt about it. And it will happen to you eventually. Here’s a quick tip on what you should never do if your hard drive crashes: Restart the machine. Why? Because accidentally deleted files could be overwritten. Permanently, irrevocably overwritten.Below is a peek at a damaged JPEG file. The […]

. You know how sometimes you click on a link and get an error message that says something like: 404 File Not Found? Apelad created a set of illustrations for these kinds of HTTP error messages. You can see all of them in his flickr set. My favorite is the one you see above. It’s […]

Genealogists and family historians have swapped ancestor photos for as long as photography has been around. These days, it’s easier than ever to scan and share photos. But what can you do if your cousin sends you scans that look terrible? Becca has that problem, and she turned to The Practical Archivist for help. Hi […]

I worry a lot about the fate of old sound recordings. Although recorded sound has only been around for a little over 100 years, our archives, basements and attics are bursting with a legacy of multiple obsolete formats. To add insult to injury, each time you play an original recording you destroy some of the […]

I love it when the challenges of digital preservation hit the main stream press. It shocks me how few people understand how fragile digital files are. Which reminds me, before we get to the TV clip, I want to thank the New York Times for tearing down their pay wall. Now I can post links […]

Honestly, people — if this sort of delightful coincidence* keeps happening I’ll have no choice but to start thinking of the Internet as some kind of magic happy wish machine. Remember my post about how to tell the difference between a daguerreotype and an ambrotype? I mused about how much I’d love to have a […]

Jill Hurst-Wahl has a wonderful blog called Digitization 101. It’s aimed mostly at institutions like libraries and historical societies, but it’s full of wise advice for the family historian, too. If you work or volunteer with an organization thinking about a digitization project, I highly recommend you check out what Jill has to say. She […]

You probably know that scratches on a CD or DVD can make them un-playable. If you have young children or work in a public library, you know this only too well. I’ve safely cleaned smudges off of pre-recorded DVDs using a soft cloth dampened with a little water, but I’ve never attempted to remove scratches. […]