Archiving

History is written with ephemera. Letters, postcards, menus, maps, ticket stubs, snapshots. And we know how to store these objects, preserving the information they hold. We cannot preserve the objects that hold digital information in the same way. The kind of decay that might yellow a newspaper clipping would make a hard drive unreadable. The first vinyl records, even the first wax cylinders, are still playable more than a century later. But the first audio CDs, just a few decades old, are oxidizing from their edges, turning the last songs into glitch. A recordable CD might only last a few years.

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