Missing pictures

Taken more than 100 years ago, this is a picture of my paternal ancestors. That's my great-grandfather and his family. The picture has faded badly with time.

I read with dismay a story in this morning’s paper about a family losing precious photos of a deceased child when the family laptop was stolen. This is not the first time I’ve heard of this happening.

Personally, I’ve lost precious files when a computer hard drive has crashed.

I now back up my computer files, and I save pictures to DVDs.

This is not enough.

DVDs will not last forever. In fact, some DVDs last only a couple of years. It depends on the quality of the DVD. Think recognizable brand name, and you get what you pay for, so if you’re trying to store priceless pictures, is it wise to pinch pennies? It also depends on how the DVD is stored – in the dark, in a protective case, temperatures as low as possible. A freezer fills the bill if you can control the humidity.

Multiple locations also helps. I recently scanned many very old family photos – some 100+ years – burned them to several DVDs and sent them to all the family members.

The original pictures have gone into protected storage, again, dark storage, although I can’t vouch for temperature and humidity levels . . .

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