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DVD what is best archival quality
David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:37 PM on 10.19.04
->> DVD what is best archival quality That is about it I have heard matsui Verbatim and TDK won't strach are good want to know what is best and most archival . Thanks David
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Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 12:23 AM on 10.20.04
->> At this point, nobody really knows.

What is known is that light is bad and humidity are bad.

I archive everything to CD - making two copies with one kept at another photographer's house.

I then rearchive the files on DVD - again making two copies.

With name brand DVDs running 70-80 cents and name brand CDs around 20 cents, storage is cheap.
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Jaren Wilkey, Photographer
Provo | UT | USA | Posted: 1:01 PM on 10.20.04
->> Here is my post from another discussion on dvd's:

>> I'm working with Chris Erickson, the BYU Lee Library Digital Preservation Officer, to try and answer some of the questions that have come up in this discussion. One great link he gave me is to the "Technical Advisory Service for Images" which has a lot of data on archiving, here is one page on DVD-R and CD-R Preservation:

Read this article! It has great info on how to get the most out of your disks.

Sharpie's are bad for cd's and DVD's because of the alcahol in it, i'll have to find the article on that, but it's best if you don't write anything at all on your CD-R's and DVD's. These disks are extreemely sensitive and they need to be babied if you want them to survive.

I hope that Chris doesn't mind me sharing part of what he wrote me about Digital Storage:

"Most of the information about the longevity of the media are from the manufacturers, but there is more discussion on this in the national arena.  The digital preservation field is still relatively new so much of it is still being worked on.  For preservation media, we (BYU) and the (LDS) Church use only Mitsui Gold CDs and Mitsui Silver DVDs.  They cost a little more, but we feel comfortable with their quality.  Besides quality media, the environment is the most important factor for preservation: cool, dry, pollution free, dark, and stable (fluctuations are the worst). "

Moving one set of our archives out of a warehouse and into the Library's archive is an option we are looking at. Keeping sets in different places and in an optimal storage enviroment is important.

Jaren Wilkey
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Daniel Tunstall, Photographer
Pearland | TX | USA | Posted: 1:06 PM on 10.20.04
->> Yet, you can burn some music onto a cheapo CD, keep it in your hot car for a couple of years and the thing still plays great......
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Jason Orth, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | USA | Posted: 1:14 PM on 10.20.04
->> Sometimes. On the other hand, I've got some CD's dating back to the late 80's that are crapping out.

I just want to add that the link Jaren provided is excellent reading.

Here's another website that contains a lot of information on archiving in the digital age.
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Jaren Wilkey, Photographer
Provo | UT | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 10.20.04
->> Just to add to what i wrote earlier, we've been using the Mitsui dvd's ( now called Mam-A) for several months now and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Our people have done a lot of research and mitsui's have performed the best. We usally buy them in spindles and burn as we need them. In our workflow, we always burn a raw copy of our photos, before they are edited, rotated, captioned and named. Then after they are all finished, we burn 2 copies of the finished file. One stays in the office, the other is sent to a records management facility off site. That way if one fails, we most likely will be able to use the other one. So we have 3 dvd copies of every photo and then they are also stored on our X-Serve RAID Array.

Another thing to do is check on them every year or two, if your computer is having trouble with them, burn a new one. We are in the process of doing that now with some of our earliest CD's from 1997-99.

The most important thing to remember is that cd's, dvd's, and hard drives are fallible. It is not a matter of if they will fail, but when. The more copies you have of your stuff, the better off you will be in the future.

Mitsui/MaM-A's website has some great info on it too:

Got to the bottom of the homepage and look through the MAM-A Technology section.

As with all technology, its constantly evolving, so it is important to keep up to date as much as possible.

sorry for rambling, jsw
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Matt Barton, Photographer
Lexington | KY | USA | Posted: 3:03 PM on 10.20.04
->> David-
I use Verbatim but any name brand DVD will work fine. It only has to last about 5-10 years and then we'll all move to a newer, more stable medium. Don't waste your money on "gold" DVDs when we'll probably have 100 gig DVD-type disks in the next few years anyway. Relax. Just keep a few backup copies at home and a friend's house and you'll be fine.

Trust me, innovation will not cease.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 6:18 PM on 10.20.04
->> I appreciate all commnet s and please keep them coming
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Tony Donaldson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 6:33 PM on 10.20.04
->> Jaren,

Thanks for posting that info. Good info we all need.

Do you know if the Staedtler CD pens are archival?

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Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 8:33 PM on 10.20.04
->> Matt,
I believe that the standard for the next generation of DVDs so-called "HD DVDs" are close to being finalized. I don't know how long it will take for burn-your-own versions to appear, but it hasn't taken all that long for burnable dual-layer DVDs. The HD-DVDs will be 23GB for a 12cm disc.
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Pablo Galvez, Photographer
Calgary | AB | CANADA | Posted: 9:03 PM on 10.20.04
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Evan Parker, Student/Intern, Photographer
Shoreline | WA | USA | Posted: 1:24 AM on 10.21.04
->> It has been mentioned before (I think on this message board, too) that rewritable CDs are good archival storage because instead of a dye layer for the recording surface a crystalline layer is used, which is much more stable and temperature tolerant over time. Is this true? And if so, are CD-RW and DVD-RW discs more archivable than just -R discs? I haven't seen any research on RW discs, only R discs.
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Jaren Wilkey, Photographer
Provo | UT | USA | Posted: 11:10 AM on 10.21.04
->> Another good list explaining how to care for your archival cds/dvds:

Most of these questions can be answered by a great white paper report written by by Fred R. Byers of the Council on Library and Information Resources National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is called "Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs-A GUIDE FOR LIBRARIANS AND ARCHIVISTS"
This is a comprehensive report that goes over everything dealing with archiving data on CDs and DVDs. Here is the PDF link:

This white paper has everything you ever wanted to know about archiving, but fell asleep while asking. I highly reccomend that every photographer read this document, it's only 30 pages long. Here is an excerpt on CD-RW and DVD-RW:

RW and RAM discs are generally not considered for long-term or archival use, and life expectancy tests are seldom done for this me-dium. Rewritable discs use a phase-changing metal alloy film for re-cording data and aluminum for the reflective layer. The alloy film is not as stable as the dye used in R discs because the material normally degrades at a faster rate; however, these discs should still be stable enough to outlast the current CD or DVD technology.
The phase-changing film is affected primarily by heat, but ultra-violet (UV) light may also be a factor in the aging process. The com-bination of high temperature and UV light may further accelerate the aging process. The combination of high temperatures and high rela-tive humidity will also most likely accelerate the aging process, just as it does with the organic dye used in R discs. No lab test results are yet available on the effects of these environmental conditions on RW or RAM discs.
The data on the phase-changing metal alloy film layer can be erased and rewritten to a limited number of times (about 1,000 times for RW discs and about 100,000 times for RAM discs). This rewriting does, however, affect disc life expectancy; RW or RAM discs archived after the first recording should have a longer life expectancy than those that have undergone several erase-recording cycles. Given the normal degradation rate alone, the life expectancy for RW and RAM discs will be less than that of R discs. Add to that multiple rewrites, and the life expectancy can be even less.
Just as the life expectancy of the disc varies with rewriting, so, too, does the security of the information itself. Information on RW and RAM discs is susceptible to loss or alteration as a result of the rewriting. Information on R discs is more secure precisely because it cannot be changed or rewritten.

As for archival pens to write on cds/dvds, they are archival if they are not alcohol based. We don't write much on our media, but when we do we use Maxell DiscWriter pens, I don't know about Staedtler. Here is another excerpt from the white paper:

5.2.5 Marking
Marking and labeling a CD or DVD is an essential process in its cre-ation. CDs and DVDs, or their containers, are labeled in some form or fashion so that they can be identified and organized. When label-ing a CD with markers, the composition of the ink in the marker and the style or design of the marker should be considered.
The inks in markers vary in chemical composition and are formed from pigments or dyes, and solvents. Inks are divided into three basic categories according to the type of solvent used: water-based, alcohol-based, and aromatic solvent-based. Within these cat-egories, inks are further divided according to their permanence and their application to different surfaces.
Markers themselves also vary in form: there are fine-point, extra
22 Fred R. Byers23Care fi ne-point, rolling-ball, ballpoint, soft felt-tip, and chisel-tip. Some are ideal for CD labeling; others can cause damage. Numerous CD vendors have noted that the thin protective lacquer coating can deteriorate from contact with certain solvents in markers. To eliminate the risk, water-based markers are recom-mended for CD labeling. As a solvent, alcohol is generally less damaging than xylene and toluene, which are common in aromatic solvent-based markers. According to anecdotal reports, alcohol-based markers can be used to label CDs without causing perfor-mance problems. However, there are no explicit lab test results to show what effect solvents in markers have on different CDs or DVDs, particularly over the long term. The vulnerability of the metal in CDs, because of its proximity to the surface, should be considered when choosing a marker. The metal is particularly susceptible to damage from scratches, scrapes, or denting caused by surface marking. A felt tip marker will mini-mize the risk of scratching or denting. As mentioned before, CDs and DVDs look similar, but their layer structures differ. The recording layer of a CD is located just beneath the labeling side. On a DVD, the recording layer is in the center of the disc. In theory, solvents from a solvent-based marker will not penetrate to the center of a DVD through the polycarbon-ate layer on both sides of the disc. Consequently, the data and met-al layers in the center, in theory, should not come in contact with any harmful solvents. Nevertheless, the same precautions taken in labeling CDs are advisable for DVDs. The marker used to label a CD will work just as well on a DVD. Restricting oneself to the CD-safe marker will also eliminate the potential for mix-ups in the use of distinctive CD or DVD markers.Many vendors sell CD-safe markers, and they vary in ink so-lution. They should not contain any solvents harmful to CDs or DVDs but should have a permanent quality. For risk-free labeling of any disc, it is best to mark the clear inner hub or the so-called mirror band of the disc, where there are no data (see Figure 12).

After reading this, we started using disk safe markers and marking on the inside ring of the CDs and DVDs.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope it answers some questions.

Jaren Wilkey
Brigham Young University
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Tony Donaldson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:31 PM on 10.21.04
->> If we can just convince the manufacturers of the media to replace that clear center portion with an easily writable white we're really set.
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Thread Title: DVD what is best archival quality
Thread Started By: David Seelig
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