Dutch cities struggling with floppy-disc, CD archives

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Floppies, stiffies and CD's (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). (Floppies, stiffies and CD's (Photo: Wikimedia Commons))

A number of Dutch municipalities have problems accessing archives stored on obsolete technologies, like floppies, CD's and even tape recorder, according to a survey done by Binnelands Bestuur among 26 municipalities, Telegraaf reports.

Half of the municipalities indicated that they sometimes have difficulties finding information on old storing devices. 15 indicated that information has been lost. Two are dealing with bitrot - data corruption due to physical deterioration - in their archives.

About half of the interviewed municipalities agree that municipal employee are not sufficiently aware of how important it is to have proper archives.

According to the Public Records Act, information municipalities want to save have to be moved to certain digital repositories after a maximum of 20 years. In the past it was chosen to store this data on now obsolete media, resulting in the information now being largely inaccessible.

The National Archives is aware of the "challenges of digital preservation", a spokesperson said to Binnelands Bestuur. The organization therefore wants to increase awareness on the issue.

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