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Re: [ARSCLIST] Is recording to Reel-to-reel still the preferred preservation method?

I've been following this discussion closely.  I'm not an archivist, but the owner of a company that offers transfers from what has been termed "dead media".  I specialize in transferring wire specifically.  Most of the transfers are to CD.  This is for convenience to the customer.  As most of you who do this work for consumers are aware, some of the recordings transferred have been of historical value where most are of family history.  Both hold an equal importance in my book.  These wires have survived where other forms of media don't fair as well; damp basements, corner-stone time capsules, hot attics.  Those who come across these recordings are lucky enough 50 and 60 years later to find someone with machines to transfer wire to a more modern media.  But the same concerns apply to the average person that concerns the director of a large archive.  Will they be able to play this CD in another 50 or 60 years.  I think from the nature of the discussion here, there is no solid answer on which form of media will be the most stable and still have playback equipment available in the coming years.

One thing is for sure. Claus is correct about hard drives.

>>A hard-drive on a shelve is worse than a tape on a shelve. The mechanical
parts in a HD will stop functioning before they "should" if the mechanical
parts are never moving, and I think we all agree that any physical media has
a "time of death"? Whatever it may be.<<

In the case of HD, that "time of death" is only two years unless the HD is exercised regularly.  Even then it's life-span won't be very long.  This is the only form of storage that should never be used.  

Angie Dickinson

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