Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Media - As The Independent goes digital only, Parliament stays with vellum

In a week when the Independent newspaper announced the end of the printed version, British laws will apparently continue to be recorded on vellum. Not perhaps a good week if you are a paper maker then.

I am sure I am not alone in being unaware that Parliament recorded laws on vellum - or calf skin. Apparently recording our laws on vellum is a millennium long tradition and surprisingly cost effective. Apparently vellum lasts for 5,000 years, paper a mere 200 years. How does digital fare I wonder? Old files and I am talking perhaps a little more than 10 years, stored on the original current media are pretty much inaccessible now. Optical storage, floppy disks, CD s, flash memory - whatever quickly disappears and old files mysteriously corrupt. Is digital more an ephemeral storage medium, will digital work actually survive? Will our thoughts survive - does anyone care?

No comments: