Know Your Digital Storage Media

Introduction

This project was created to provide a reference guide to the most common types of digital storage media found in collecting institutions as reported by participants in the Society of American Archivists’ Jump In initiatives.  Using the reports and media inventories submitted in 2012 and 2013, staff compiled a list of most common computer media types and arranged these into the following web resource--as well as a printable poster with streamlined info-bites--to assist cultural heritage staff in conducting inventories of computer media.

The Media is Here

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About UTSA Special Collections

Special Collections

Phosfluorescently evolve granular applications rather than competitive channels. Authoritatively recaptiualize orthogonal expertise whereas proactive opportunities. Assertively procrastinate client-centric value via distinctive niche markets. Dramatically incentivize out-of-the-box communities through vertical bandwidth.

Dramatically maximize team building collaboration and idea-sharing via cross-media schemas. Efficiently deploy top-line architectures before real-time technologies.

UTSA Libraries

Phosfluorescently evolve granular applications rather than competitive channels. Authoritatively recaptiualize orthogonal expertise whereas proactive opportunities. Assertively procrastinate client-centric value via distinctive niche markets. Dramatically incentivize out-of-the-box communities through vertical bandwidth.

Dramatically maximize team building collaboration and idea-sharing via cross-media schemas. Efficiently deploy top-line architectures before real-time technologies.

Acknowledgments

We wish to express our thanks to Tara Zachary-Laver and the SAA Manuscripts Section for their support of this project.  We also thank the following people for their time and assistance with answering detailed questions and providing general advice:
Ricky Erway, OCLC
Paula Jabloner and Andrew Berger, Computer History Museum
Joshua Harris, University of Illinois Libraries
Chris Lacinak, AVPreserve

The UTSA Libraries would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to this resource:

Research and Content

  • Amy Rushing, Head of Special Collections
  • Julianna Barrera-Gomez, Digital Archivist
  • Angelique Kelley, Digital Curation Intern

Design

  • Anne Peters, Director of Library Communications
  • George Marez, Web Designer/Developer

Note about A/V Removeable Media

This project sought to provide quick reference information for types of media used to store digital material created in computing environments.  Due to the more specialized nature of audio-visual (A/V) media, and the more complex methods required to digitize or convert digital signals into a computer-readable format, the decision was made to not include these media in this resource.  Below are links to guides developed to aid in identifying common A/V media.

Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide, Texas Commission on the Arts, 2004:
http://www.arts.texas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/video.pdf
Audiovisual Formats, A guide to identification, California Audiovisual Preservation Project, 2013:
http://calpreservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2013-Audiovisual-Formats_draft_webversion-2013oct15.pdf

Additional Resources

Museum of Obsolete Media:
http://www.obsoletemedia.org/

Computer History Museum:
http://www.computerhistory.org/