No, 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?