Posted by: Government & Heritage Library | May 15, 2010

Digital Preservation Quick Tip: Don’t neglect files if they contain important information.

Affordable computers for personal use were first developed in the 1950s (here’s just one example).  It isn’t surprising, then, that many of us have seen file formats come and go.  Periodically review old files to determine whether or not you can still read them with the software and hardware currently available to you.  As new software versions are released, open the files you previously created and save them in the newest version of the file format to extend your file’s life.  If a software product becomes obsolete, you can often find an alternate product that can read your files.  Take the time to re-save your files as soon as possible, whether to more current media or file formats, to make sure you’ll be able to access the information in the future.  Although this may seem time consuming, it doesn’t have to be done that often and it could save someone (maybe you!) a lot of frustration.

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