Archival CDs and DVDs

This blog is for everyone who is so busy producing work that they don't always have the time to stay caught up on the technical side of digital imaging and photography.

During a workshop that I took last week, the topic of long term media storage came up. I had totally missed the introduction of archival CDs and DVDs. I knew that regular discs didn't last forever and had planned to sort and re-burn my early work. This is not good enough, my teacher feels that we need to save to an external hard drive and burn to a gold archival CD or DVD. These discs are not inexpensive as they cost over a dollar apiece, but they are supposed to last over 100 years. Plus, never write on any disc with a sharpie as the ink will eventually eat through the disc making it unreadable. There are special pens that have been developed for this purpose. The pens and discs can be found locally at photography stores. If they aren't sold out! I found many sources for them online.

Hope this helps anyone who's been as out of the loop as I've been. I really feel as if I'm the last person alive to get this information.

Pat Ballard

Photo credits: Patricia L. Ballard.

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August 11, 2008


Thanks for this info--I've been wondering if the DVD's would last, now I know!

August 08, 2008


Thanks for sharing this information. Nope, you're not the last...had no idea about the sharpie marker issue. Love my external hard drive. Recently had a "mother board hard drive melt down combo". Wanted to hug my external hard drive, simply unplugged it from one computer and moved it to the spare -- all my images safe and accessible! Again thanks for sharing such helpful information.

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