Preserving Images, etc

A friend had contacted the DPOE (Digital Preservation Outreach & Education Network) to see if they had some advice for preserving family videos, photos, etc. Their response is below. These materials are appropriate for a mostly non-technical audience but you may find them useful for family members or friends. I haven’t read all of them yet but it certainly is a worthwhile subject.

Great to hear from you and thank you for sharing your meaningful project with us! Personal archiving does require planning and the issues you raised regarding cloud storage are certainly one of the many challenges in ensuring long-term accessibility.

Here are some resources on personal archiving you may consider:

  1. Personal archiving guide by the Library of Congress
  1. Personal digital archiving guide by the Digital Preservation Coalition

  2. Personal digital archiving guide by Penn State University Libraries

  3. [VIDEO] Personal archiving by Cassandra Tavukciyan, a Digital Collections Management Specialist at the Canadian Museum of History


Why would anyone depend on cloud storage when physical media are so cheap and readily available? I recently bought five 64GB USB 3.1 thumb drives for less than $25. And you can get SSDs for $100 a terabyte.

Yep. Just bought a WD 1TB SSD for $54.99,

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While I have many, many photos and jpegs, I also back up all my data to the cloud. I don’t just have images, I also have data.

I got tired or recovering hard drives and SSD drives which went south.

So to use your numbers, $100 per terabyte, would be $700 for SSD’s. These have to be hung off the system spomehow and when they fail (and they do), I have to spend time recovering and adding yet another drive.

I have disk images of another system which is copied to this system by SyncThing.

For some or even many people, using local drives is appropriate; however not every situation fits that solution. I myself am not concerned with the ability to save images and movies beyond my useful life, thus it does not apply to me.

I neither up or down voted the article I posted. It was one opinion and I posted it as such.

You can store 200,000 five megabyte jpegs on a single 1TB drive. I don’t think many people on this forum have anywhere near that many jpegs.

Most pics taken by cameras and phones in the 2000-2015 era won’t be over 5MB and mine average about 3-4, even for the high-res cameras of that day. Today, with the iPhone 14 pro using 12 megapixel jpegs, you’d use 25MB for each normal high-res shot. So even if you had all your photos in 25MB jpeg files each, you’d be able to store 40,000 photos per TB.

How Many Photos Can 1TB Hold? | PFRE.

Which is all well and fine until you have a house fire…then you will be glad you have cloud storage.

I recommend a nice NAS with redundant drives and a scheduled backup to cloud.

Which is why I keep one ext drive in my car and one in a desk and rotate them monthly.

I’ve heard of a lot of strategies…but that is certainly a new one.

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Heh, I thought everyone did this.

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I use a RAID 1 NAS and I keep my important backups on hi-cap thumb drives and SSDs in a fireproof safe. I also have several HDDs with backed-up files I keep off-line to keep failures down. Out of all the external HDDs I’ve owned over the years (15 or 20) I’ve only had two failures…

And in anotherthread… Senior parents sold 35 year old home, but all receipts lost to water"

Too bad they didn’t store them in thge cloud :slight_smile:

So a few mnonths ago, Mauna Loa started flowing lava. If the lava had come a different direction I would have had 3 to 14 hours to leave home with all my things. Three hours seems a lot UNLESS you are not home. The lava COULD have covered the higjhway and 3 hours would not be of any use as the only other way to my house would have been a 4 hour trip on the alternate route.

Every situation is unique.

As for storing offsite, you can also use the FREE SyncThing to sync android and Windows and Apple things to each other.

Making a backup to local drives…yes…storing one in your car…no. :slight_smile:

Now, that you mention it, I suppose a small fire / water proof safe makes more sense. Will look for one.