Library Of Congress Statement

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Library Of Congress Statement

In their Personal Digital Archiving Series entitled "How Long Will Digital Storage Media Last?", The Library of Congress stated,

"CD/DVD/Blu-ray optical disk: 2-10 years. There is large variation in the quality of optical media; note that “burnable” discs typically have a shorter life than “factory pressed” discs.

All digital storage media have a short life. This is why digital preservation requires active management, including regular migration of content from older storage devices to newer devices. The life of storage media are cut short by at least three factors:

  • Media durability
  • Media usage, storage and handling
  • Media obsolescence

What you need to do

Actively manage your important digital content! Steps to consider:

  • Create new archival media copies at least (or more frequently than) every five years to avoid data loss.
  • Have at least two separate copies of your content on separate media�more copies are better.
  • Use different kinds of media (DVDs, CDs, portable hard drives,
    thumb drives or Internet storage); usereputable vendors and products.
  • Store media copies in different locations that are as physically far apart as practical.
  • Label media properly and keep in secure locations (such as with important papers).


News: As of 2015 The Library of Congress has broadened their stance on digital archiving to a blanket statement, now saying,

"All digital storage media have a short life. "