* How to PRESERVE Family History Treasures

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 […]

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. […]

There are two types of cased images you might find in your family collection: ambrotypes and daguerreotypes. The quick and easy way to tell the difference between the two is that a daguerreotype will look like a mirror when you move it in the light. An ambrotype will not. I was thinking about this today […]

A while back, I took a first stab at answering a reader’s question about flash drives. He wanted to know if they were safe for long term storage. Here’s what I said (cue time machine music):——————————– I got an email from a new subscriber to my newsletter. He was asking me to update my free-with-subscription […]

After reading the following shocker in Dick Eastman’s email newsletter, I’m tempted to ask: Does anyone out there know of a complex digital archiving system that has actually improved access to government information? Anyone? Anyone at all? GRO Chaos: Local Registrars are told to Abandon Computer System The (London) Times newspaper has reported that hundreds […]

When I was in library school in the mid 1990s, the Internet was just taking off. There was some content online, but very few graphics and zero advertisements. I spent a lot of time gawking at Young Ones scripts using the Mosaic browser. It seemed miraculous at the time, even though nothing looked as fancy […]

Here’s a question I get all the time: What’s with the white gloves, anyway? Ah, yes. The white gloves. Sort of the archivist’s trademark. My favorite story about why archivists and conservators wear gloves is a George Eastman tale that may or may not be true. I can’t verify its authenticity, but I’ve remembered it […]

.Time publishes a magazine called Business 2.0. Circulation: 557,093. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. By all accounts, this fine publication has done a great job warning their readers about how dangerous it is not to back up their computer files. According to Slashdot, they made the following analogy between backups and flossing back in 2003: […]

.Variety has an interesting article about how to preserve movies that were captured digitally. The news is not so good. Sony’s Vice President of asset management and film restoration says Sony’s archiving program includes migrating every two to three years. Great idea, but keep in mind that the amount of data to be migrated is […]