Monday, December 24, 2007

Still plugging along, brief technological observations

It has been about a month since I posted here. I'm still alive and kicking, but now I'm enjoying the Christmas break. Next semester, I have two Archives courses so that should be interesting.

In my part time archival work, I recently came across a number of computer diskettes from the 1980s; that means 5 1/4" format. Recovering data from these was a dicey proposition but not impossible since the Archivist retained one computer with an old floppy drive for just this purpose. To that end, I have been wondering about the preservation characteristics of different media. How does magnetic storage (e.g. a hard drive) compare to optical media (CDs/DVDs) versus flash memory (USB sticks, SD cards etc). I think there is some research out there in the first two types but I'm not aware of anything on the last kind.

Oh, one more note before I wrap up for the day. Next month, there is going to be a book released on the archives of the Hudson Bay Company Archives. It is Keepers of the Record:
The History of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives
Deidre Simmons (published by Queen's-McGill University Press). It looks promising.

Merry Christmas to all!