What Do You Have That’s Fading Away?

I began my research in the 1980s when photocopiers in some locations did not create long-term reproductions of records. They would fade and turn brown and eventually be unreadable. My local librarian always reminded me to type up these photocopies and not rely on them long term.

Photocopying was a way to get more information and get a copy with it “right” without having to manually copy the information in the library or courthouse. Those old photocopies were a form of evaporating notes and that’s how we had to view them.

Digital reproduction of records has come a long way. But some things have not changed. It is still important to transcribe copies of documents. It is still important to view those photocopies or digital images of records as temporary and something that needs to be preserved. That preservation can take the form of creating digital copies of the item storied multiple locations, making certain that the format of the file stays current, keeping the images on digital media that is accessible, etc.

It’s not as simple as making a copy and forgetting about it.

Preservation and storage still needs to be an active process.