05 February 2007

The care and feeding of your CDs

Sally Jacob's Practical Archivist blog offers great tips. Her latest posting provides information on CD-ROMs, which are an important storage medium for genealogy data and software.

Don't we all protect the bottoms of our CDs? The tops are actually more important, says Sally:

Just below the thin protective layer on top of your disc is the precious dye layer. The dye layer is where your data is stored. Scratch the top, and you've got a serious problem. If you puncture the data layer you will cause irreversible damage to your disc.

She provides a neat cut-away diagram of a CD to illustrate the problem, and offers six tips for handling these important items.

Do read the complete article and her other postings. Sally also has a newsletter and you can subscribe online (information is at the bottom of her blog page).


  1. Anonymous3:11 PM

    This is good advice. However, CD's still have a limited life span. Online storage sites such as www.preservephotoimages.com that combine image archiving and tools to play and share them may solve the problem for many people.

  2. Hi, Kathy
    All technology formats have limited life spans. I think genealogists must avail themselves of multiple methods of preservation. The phrase "putting all the eggs in one basket" comes to mind.
    Paper copies, negatives, B&W prints, CDs, onine storage are all important.
    An important method of preserving our research is sharing it with family members around the world. This is added insurance against what might happen, such as disasters, equipment failure and everything else that life throws our way.