End-of-Life Care for Aging, Fragile CDs and Their Data Content

End-of-Life Care for Aging, Fragile CDs and Their Data Content by Mike Ashenfelder

Many institutions and individuals that use CDs as a storage medium are now concerned because information technologists have deemed the medium to be unsuitable for long-term use. As a result, institutions are racing to get the data off the discs as quickly and safely as possible and into a more reliable digital storage environment.

Two years ago, Butch Lazorchak wrote about the Library of Congress’s Tangible Media Project and its efforts to transfer data off CDs for just that reason. And last month The Atlantic profiled Fanella France, chief of preservation research and testing at the Library of Congress, about the Library’s research into the physical and chemical properties of CDs and how CDs age.

At the upcoming Digital Preservation 2014, John Passmore, archives manager at New York Public Radio, will give a presentation about NYPR’s experiences in transferring the contents of their archive of over 30,000 CD-Rs. Passmore said that some of the older discs exhibit “end-of-life symptoms,” which creates an urgency at NYPR to move the content off the CD-Rs and into the organization’s asset management system. [Trevor Owens interviewed Passmore earlier this year on the subject.]

Source: Library of Congress

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