U.S. Government Fails To Preserve Electronic Records

era_cropNo, this is not an actual headline but instead is the likely outcome of this country’s reliance on the Electronic Records Archive for preserving the nation’s history. My concern stems from our current single-minded focus on preserving information in electonic systems that must be actively managed, rather than systems that pasively preserve records by storing them in a stable form under controlled conditions. We are chosing to place our history in computer systems that are vulnerable to future budget cuts and changing priorities.

Greece’s financial troubles are not so far from the problems the U.S. may face in the future. And if financial troubles happen in, how many resources will be devoted to maintaining the systems storing electronic records? Exactly,  and that is why the current reliance on electronic records is potentially devestating to the nation’s history.

Personally, I would prefer to see electronic records preserved in printed form or at least stored on a stable CD or DVD. These systems may not be the most convenient but they would ensure future generations’ access to today’s information. Now, all I need to do is figure out how we can sell Creative Memories StoryBooks to the U.S. government. Any suggestions?


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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1 Response to U.S. Government Fails To Preserve Electronic Records

  1. Kathleen says:

    We could all write our legislators and offer to create a 12×12 storybook about “A day in the life of ….” If only half the legislators agree, we will at least have a record of that. (Too bad that SB+ wasn’t around when Nero when Rome burned-Now that would be priceless…) *U* Kathleen

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