Long-term data/document storage

ewald

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Mid-Lincs
Is there any real alternative to hard paper copies for long term document storage?
This came up yesterday - I needed a document relating to a planning decision from 1985. After an hour or so it came to light in a folder entitled 'useful bits to be kept' in a filing cabinet in the cellar - thanks Mother!
If this had been filed on the cloud, or on the hard drive of a long forgotten computer I suspect that it would be gone forever. I admit to Luddite tendencies, but how on earth are we going to find stuff in the future?
 

robs1

Member
Cant beat a proper paper record, unless people forget how to read english( the way the world is going that's possible) it will always be there , in fifty years the cloud will have changed and anything stored might not be accessible and your descendants wont "stumble across it by chance
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Is there any real alternative to hard paper copies for long term document storage?
This came up yesterday - I needed a document relating to a planning decision from 1985. After an hour or so it came to light in a folder entitled 'useful bits to be kept' in a filing cabinet in the cellar - thanks Mother!
If this had been filed on the cloud, or on the hard drive of a long forgotten computer I suspect that it would be gone forever. I admit to Luddite tendencies, but how on earth are we going to find stuff in the future?
Short answer, no I honestly don't think there is an alternative. I am old enough to have seen many electronic systems come and go. At the time each system seemed to be "the one" only for it to be defunct within a decade. Tapes, CD roms, discs, all gone.
I'd also strongly advise keeping paper copies of all important documents such as deeds, partnership agreements and wills at home in a filing cabinet or safe place. Don't rely on solicitors archives. It can be a real struggle to extract originals from solicitors if you have no copy in your possession with their name on it, as we found out not so long ago.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Short answer, no I honestly don't think there is an alternative. I am old enough to have seen many electronic systems come and go. At the time each system seemed to be "the one" only for it to be defunct within a decade. Tapes, CD roms, discs, all gone.
I'd also strongly advise keeping paper copies of all important documents such as deeds, partnership agreements and wills at home in a filing cabinet or safe place. Don't rely on solicitors archives. It can be a real struggle to extract originals from solicitors if you have no copy in your possession with their name on it, as we found out not so long ago.

Totally agree with the good Doctor...

As far as I know there is no digital media that can really be trusted long term... Not only different media, but also different formats for the data. I am old enough to have seen and used numerous word processors, few of them are readable now.

Simple unformatted text document, is the only one that will work across the years...

The media choice, I leave to others to ponder...
 
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Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
Is there any real alternative to hard paper copies for long term document storage?
This came up yesterday - I needed a document relating to a planning decision from 1985. After an hour or so it came to light in a folder entitled 'useful bits to be kept' in a filing cabinet in the cellar - thanks Mother!
If this had been filed on the cloud, or on the hard drive of a long forgotten computer I suspect that it would be gone forever. I admit to Luddite tendencies, but how on earth are we going to find stuff in the future?

if it was in the cloud it would have been easier to find via search surely ? even buy someone who didn’t even know about it or the cellar
 

ewald

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Mid-Lincs
I think that the point I was making (supported by the good Dr) is that of obselete data storage systems - will the Cloud have been superceded in another 35 years? I gather that many industries are having problems with inaccessible archives.
Also, the difficulty of looking for something that you don't know if you have, but will recognise when you see it!

This is a Saturday night thread, not to be taken too seriously
 

Bogweevil

Member
Crucial documents, tax, deeds, copied and kept in locked filing cabinet in detached garage, along with old hard drives (in double sealed plastic bag with silica gel) and copies of precious photographs - in case of house fire or water damage. Only top half of filing cabinet used in case of flood.

Working copies in cloud storage.
 

robs1

Member
Scan in documents or take photos using OneNote and put on the cloud. Can be accessed by any device, anywhere in the world any time. If you want a full commercial solution which is 100% infallible etc etc then you can pay for one for not a lot of money.
They are and are good but the problem is if you drop dead does anyone know where they are, it can be a big issue tracking down wills if they are held by solicitors. Even if you tell people they can easily forget, at least at home they can have a rummage around but as bogweevil said fire and flood need taking into account
 

MattR

Member
Some fair points, but paper is susceptible to damp, mould, snails, mice, children, spilt coffee, fire, flood, theft, loss, accidental disposal, etc etc, and doesn't magically appear when you type a relevant word in a search bar either. Guess back-ups of everything is the answer.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Most of the Doomsday book can still be read, the language is a bit difficult but if you know French you can get the Gist
In thew 90's the BBC did a new Doomsday book, perhaps some of you were at school and participated. It was done in digital format to ensure it would be there forever, sadly nobody can read it today :)
 

ewald

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Mid-Lincs
I have just looked at “the bbc domesday project” on Wikipedia - it appears that it became pretty well inaccessible within about a decade.
Worth a look, if you are interested - for now, I will carry on printing off the most important stuff and take my chances with snails and spilt coffee....

I think the problems arise over a muti-decade timescale, systems are moving so quickly at the moment. I am looking at a box of cd roms and some floppy discs - neither of which my current devices will access
 

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
Most of the Doomsday book can still be read, the language is a bit difficult but if you know French you can get the Gist
In thew 90's the BBC did a new Doomsday book, perhaps some of you were at school and participated. It was done in digital format to ensure it would be there forever, sadly nobody can read it today :)
I remember school getting this MASSIVE laser disc player for the 12" discs.
They were probably about 500k storage each and had to be handled by librarian with gloves as they were the pioneers of cd's.
I've still got my BBC B computer and the 5 1/4" floppy discs but wouldn't want to trust my family photos to it.
 

How much

Member
Location
North East
Its tough one , in a paper file in you house your stuffed if you have a fire so realistically if you get sent a paper copy keep it in a file , plus a digital copy I have trusted MS one drive to keep PDF copies of all invoices and what ever else I think is relevant on the basis I can back up one drive to a computer or removable disc if I wanted to I figure I am committed to MS for word ,excel, outlook etc anyway and one drive is part of that package and PDF docs are so widely used I figure there will always be reader available for them .
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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