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Re: Permanence in General

>A couple of points:
>First of all I had always thought that it was rather suspiciously
>coincidental that old materials and methods appeared to be generally
>archival. It seems that that may actually be the case to some extent,
>though of course we have only surviving specimens from which to judge.
>Perhaps someone with more knowledge in this area could venture an opinion.

The first time I saw the physical disc from a (5 meg) hard drive it occured
to me that our descendants would marvel at the quality of mirrors we were
capable of manufacturing, but that they might wonder why we cut hole in the

Untold numbers of artifacts from our past have disappeared.  Some from
inherent vice, some from war.  What we have is, indeed, archival by
definition; by accident of time and circumstance.

Enough of the past record of mankind has survived into our time that the
estimates to conserve what is here, now, is measured in man-centuries.
That is why we (conservators) are not overly worried about driving
ourselves out of business by advocating permanence in artist's materials.

Jack  :-)

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217


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