History begins with File > Save
Since the 1980’s, increasingly more of our collective culture was born digital. Our most important creations began as binary 1’s and 0’s. Through computers we saved our words, photos, and precious data to floppy disks, hard drives, ZIP disks… whatever was conveniently at hand.
Decades have passed. What happens to the files we created?
Start with vintage computers
Your files began on a computer many years ago. Sadly, few classic systems survive, and those that do often develop problems. Our staff members acquire, restore and maintain vintage computers from makers such as Apple, IBM, and Datapoint. Using fully functional hardware and software, we recreate the environment where your files were born.
Convert the bits before they rot
Time degrades magnetic media. Chemical substrates that carry the 1’s and 0’s of your files slowly degrade. Floppy disks average a lifespan of only 25 years. Other formats can decay even quicker. Before your files disappear for good, we read them from your original disks on the appropriate system and convert everything to contemporary formats.
Rescuing data feels awesome
We deliver your original and converted files however you prefer. How you back up everything going forward is your call. Service starts at $40/disk for most formats. Details vary, so we’ll discuss options with you first. Since we’re a nonprofit, every additional dollar you donate amplifies our abilities and is 100% tax-deductible.
Let’s keep the good stuff alive, together.
Born digital data recovery and media preservation are areas of intense interest and ongoing study. We are currently participating in an OCLC initiative to investigate the subject through information exchange and data recovery projects. We contribute to an activate community of other museums, archives, and institutions who are furthering the field of born digital preservation.
If you have any questions or comments regarding our activities, please email us.