We currently digital archive images and documents on a CD or DVD. A PC purchased 15 to 20 years ago would have had a 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drive. One purchased 10 years ago a 3.25" floppy drive and a read only CD. A computer purchased today will have a read write CD/DVD drive and no floppy. How long will the optical, CD/DVD remain the portable storage media of choice? I have no idea but the data is only archived if you can read the media. It will probably be necessary to transfer the data from today's CD/DVD to a new storage medium in the future.
Archiving on paper may seem archaic but could actually be more reliable. Early ink jet printers produced images that faded rapidly. Today's quality ink jet printers use dye or pigment based inks that are highly fade resistant. When used with quality coated papers and stored properly they can last for 100 to 200 years. A lot longer than that CD/DVD will be around.
March 12, 2008