Time Capsule’s Digital Divide

April 30, 2001 | Source: Wired News

A time capsule set to open in the year 3000 is preserving today’s culture the old-fashioned way: analog.

Documents from the late 20th century have been printed on acid-free paper and sealed in steel boxes in The New York Times Capsule located at the American Museum of Natural History.

“Digital formats, by and large, are not as permanent,” said Stephen Mihm, the project manager for the capsule. “Most storage media — CDs, discs, hard drives –- deteriorate very quickly in the course of decades. We went with technologies that are able to bridge that technology gap.”

“The other problem is – how do you read it?” he said. “The problem with digital archiving is that you have platform obsolescence.”