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Preserving Your Digital Memories

Preserving Your Digital Memories

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Published by Claudia van Holt
how to preserve your digital materials
how to preserve your digital materials

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Published by: Claudia van Holt on Aug 28, 2012
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Preserving Your Digital Memories - Digital Preservation (Library of Congress

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12/14/08 4:49 PM

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > What You Can Do > Preserving Your Digital Memories

What You Can Do

Preserving Your Digital Memories
Preserving a digital object is not the same as preserving, say, a book or photograph. You can put a book on a shelf or a photo in a box and (if kept dry and safe) look at it 50 years later. The same is not true with a digital object. This is why, in many cases, digital materials are considered more fragile than physical ones. At Risk: E-mail Letters often document both the public and personal side of history. They offer a unique perspective and can reveal as much about human nature as the facts and figures they contain. Today, much correspondence is conducted through e-mail. The everyday activities, work, major current events and personal observations documented in e-mail are a direct record of our lives. If e-mail is not preserved, a part of our history will be lost. Tip: Preserving E-mail E-mail should be saved and managed just like any other important digital file. Save important personal e-mail on a hard drive or storage disk as simple text files, making sure to capture the header information. Ask if your employer has a policy about saving work-related e-mail. You may also print out important e-mails.

At Risk: Finding digital material We all encounter or create large quantities of digital material everyday. How will you remember where to find the health Web site you looked at last month or the digital photograph your sister sent last Christmas? If there is no system of organization or search mechanism available for your digital files, you may not be able to. Tip: Tagging Labels make it easier to find and organize objects. Often, the more information you record about something you're trying to save, the greater your chances will be of finding it later. The same principle applies to digital objects. Descriptive keywords will help you retrieve and organize digital materials -- be they digital photographs, videos or music. The popular term for adding keywords to digital content is tagging. When you add tags that you find meaningful to a digital item, you have added metadata that can be useful to others as well as yourself.

http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/you/digitalmemories.html

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Digital preservation cannot be addressed by a single institution or nation. It is also important to convert old disks to new formats as they become available. music. Libraries.Preserving Your Digital Memories . Do not use stickers to label discs.digitalpreservation. it is important to migrate files to the latest storage media using freely available formats. At Risk: Digital Photos Family memories and special events that future generations would value are increasingly documented as digital photographs. Saving copies of your photos on Web sites and printing copies with archive-quality ink and high-quality paper are also options for preservation. including personal photographs and other media. Tip: Storage Disks Never use rewritable discs for long-term storage. archives and other memory institutions share this challenge with each other and with individual collectors and creators. and always store them covered in a dark dry place.html Page 2 of 3 . memories. Tip: Digital Photos Because digital photographs require specific hardware and software to view. The backup disks you make today may become damaged or obsolete in the future. Are your personal records. At Risk: Storage Disks Storage media such as compact disks and DVDs that were thought to last don't — they often fail within a few years. trapping the images in unusable or unsupported storage media. Make several copies of digital photographs and keep them in different places. http://www. DVDs or. safe from damage. Make more than one copy of your digital files and store the copies in different physical locations. to an external hard drive.Digital Preservation (Library of Congress) 12/14/08 4:49 PM At Risk: Computer Files According to a recent survey cited in USA Today. better yet. Find out more about the Library of Congress's digital preservation programs by exploring this Web site. photos and documents at risk of being lost forever? Tip: Computer Files Establish a backup system so your computer files. But 10 years from now current memory sticks and cameras will most likely be obsolete.gov/you/digitalmemories. only 57 percent of people back up their data. are copied on a regular basis to CDs.

gov/you/digitalmemories.html Page 3 of 3 .digitalpreservation.gov http://www.Digital Preservation (Library of Congress) 12/14/08 4:49 PM Back to Top About | Site Map | Contact | Accessibility | Legal | USA.Preserving Your Digital Memories .

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