Stop The Rot- Digitally Preserve Your Family Images
It is not all that uncommon for families to have old photos that are 50, 100 or even 150 years old. Sure they may have suffered from some of the ravages of time if they haven’t been stored correctly, and many haven’t, but some are in remarkably good condition or can be digitally restored by a specialist or an amateur who has taken the time to learn digital photographic restoration techniques. the main thing is those photos are still there. They can be held and looked at. You can see what your Great Great Grandfather looked like. you can see what the town or the house or their clothes were like.
But I am more worried about what is happening with todays pictures.
Of the hundreds of throusands of digital images that are taken each day, images that are capturing important moments in your family history; marriages, births, christenings, family celebrations or just the life and times you and your family live in, how many are being printed out? How many of your family’s images are being printed out on quality photographic paper with stable inks?
Digital camera unit sales have grown from 4.5 million to 20.5 million during 2000-2005, and consumers are capturing more images than ever before, however, only 13% of these images ever get printed. That is not very many considering how many are taken. Will they be there in 10, 20, 50, 100 or a 150+ years for your descendents to see what you and your life and times were like?
11% of Americans have more than 100,000 digital images they took personally, and 27% have between 1,001 and 5,000 digital images. This means that Americans have more than 500 billion images somewhere. But where is that somewhere? The vast majority of those images are on hard drives, flash drives, memory sticks and CD-R disks, not printed out. The vast majority of those images aren’t being backed up. The vast majority of those images will “ROT AWAY” or be lost to a hard drive crash.
Think it won’t happen to you. Rubbish, most of us will delete by accident, expereince a hard drive failure or even if we have “backed up” to a CD-R those CDs will rot quietly away without being noticed and the family history of your times will be gone. Yes GONE!
“Photographs stored as JPEG, TIFF and other digital file formats on the mostly commodity grade CD-R discs commonly supplied by photo labs and other retail outlets, are also susceptible to disc rot due to the use of various cheaper silver alloys in the CD-R reflective layer.
These silver alloys generally provide some improvement in quality and longevity when compared with aluminium, but corrosion can still occur as oxidisation of the weakened silver alloy matrix commences -the only pure metal to be completely unaffected by air, moisture and most corrosive reagents is 24 karat gold” ProDisc Australia
This is why Lifetime Memories and Stories have chosen PRODISC Systems Australia as their choice for archival recordable media as no other brand of recordable media has successfully survived the such high standards of archival performance scrutiny we demand to preserve the family stories and oral histories we produce for our clients.
Recently ProDisk Australia have produced a very useful article on preserving your music, images and family history on CD Rom disks. We have made available the full Disk Rot article produced by PRODISC Systems Australia in full for you to download and read. Although it contains a great deal of technical information it will give you a good overview of the basics that you won’t need much technical knowledge to understand.
You owe it to yourself, your family history and your descendents to at least understand the basics of Disk Rot and how you can take steps to rpevent your family’s digital images and video on DVDs from dissapearing.
Click here to download the full article on how to preserve your family history on CD.