Digital Vellum

Last weekend, when visiting my step-dad (87 years), he gave me old photo of my mum (pictured below) from her wedding day, March 1st 1962 . “I was having a clear-out and thought you might like it” he said. I gratefully received it. An original 10″ x 8″ monochromatic print preserved for 53 years under decorative acid paper.

Jackie ( March 1st, 1962)

Yesterday I came across an interesting article in the Guardian (below) that made me consider what measures will be taken when preserving photographic prints such as old family snaps. The article states that webpioneer Vint Cerf is warning us that without the development of ‘Digital Vellum’ , we could face, “a forgotten generation, or even forgotten century” through what is called as bit rot”  The article was also followed up in the leader comment (an article in digital conversation, The Guardian p32) with more thought-provoking views, “An album of analogue prints of family photographs may fade with the years, but digital printouts will disappear altogether, and the media on which they are stored electronically will almost certainly have failed long before the people in them die. The pictures of your grandparents are going to be preserved much better than the pictures of your children or your grandchildren will be

So does this mean that animal membrane (ancient parchment) will become more prevalent in  preserving our prints in the future?


The Guardian (February 13th, 2015 )

Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk





2 Replies to “Digital Vellum”

  1. Coincidentally read that same article myself earlier. I’d say it’s definitely an aspect of my work and ideas along those lines were one of the initial factors that made me start engraving digital communications onto stone. Should really make a post about it at some point! Not today though. Interesting article anyway and it seems to go against the prevailing theory that anything you post on line is “forever”.


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