When visiting my grandparents as a child, it was always a special thrill to look at photograph albums from years past or to watch old home movies projected in a darkened room. Family treasures such as these are often stored in boxes in garages or basements when not used and may go untouched for decades. When your loved ones become curious about what your life was like in 2013, they will undoubtedly want to look at digital files – email, images from digital cameras, even Facebook posts. But will there be anything to look at?
Imagine coming across a computer that had been sitting in a basement for fifty years. What would be the chance that any files could be retrieved from it? The hard drive may have crashed, the power cord may be missing, or the files may be unreadable because the software that created them is obsolete. What about files stored online in Gmail or Facebook? Would these accounts (or companies, for that matter) still be active?
If the long-term preservation of your digital files is a concern for you, please join us for a Personal Digital Archiving Workshop at the Detre Library and Archives of the Heinz History Center on Saturday, May 4th, from 2 to 4 p.m. History Center archivists will be discussing strategies for organizing your files, creating backups, selecting sustainable file formats, and more. To RSVP, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-454-6364.