Storing information


How do you store information that is important to you? Do you use a computer or database for this purpose? Or do you keep print-outs? What about back-up versions of your harddisk or database? Are these kept in a safe place? And do you think that CDs, DVDs and magnetic tapes are good for storing information that should be stored “permanently”? Or is microfilming still the best way to ensure that your records will remain accessible for the next 50, 150 or 500 years?

The correct word is database.

You did it again, so it wasn’t just a slip.

Microfilm can deteriorate too easily, and I doubt there will be microfilm readers 100 years from now. Currently, digital media are the best storage devices, followed by acid-free paper properly stored, in my opinion. This will certainly change.


Yes, Jamie, thank you for your correction. I admit that I was confused because of the word ‘basis’. I’ve corrected the mistake in my original message.

You wrote:

You don’t need a microfilm-reader: you simply need a candle and a magnifying glass to gain access to the information. That’s why microfilming is considered safer than digital media. And you should naturally have a back-up microfilm, too (in case something happens to the original). Digital media, in general, deteriorate much faster than microfilm. Below you can see how long different media will remain readable.

CD’s 10 years
DVD’s 20 years
Paper used in newspapers 20 years
CD’s intended for filing 50 years
Acid-free paper 100 years
Microfilm 500 years