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CCI Workshop: Modern Information Carriers

October 25, 2012 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Date: October 25, 2012 
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS, Canada
Cost: $70 CAD
Facilitator: Joe Iraci, Canadian Conservation Institute
Registration opens: August 20  closed: Sep 26. A waiting list is available in case of cancellation. To add your name to the Wait List, email Rosemary

General description:

This workshop discusses the structure, composition, and format of various types of modern information recording media. Chemical and physical agents of deterioration and remedies for affected media are covered, as well as ways to promote longevity through selecting appropriate media, understanding both controllable and less controllable factors, and ensuring proper handling and storage.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify and explain differences in structure, composition, and format of various types of recording media
  • identify the main deterioration problems and understand their effects on media
  • understand factors affecting longevity and choose media for maximun life span
  • implement proper handling and storage procedures for various media
  • systematically approach the task of preserving modern information carriers


Structure, Composition and Formats of modern information carriers including optical disks (read-only, write-once, and erasable formats of CDs and DVDs), magnetic disks (hard and floppy), and magnetic tapes (computer or data, analog, and video).

Deterioration. Why and how modern information carriers deteriorate. The most common chemical and physical deterioration problems and examples to help recognize them. Remedial actions to recover damaged or deteriorated media so that the stored information can be retrieved will be presented where possible.

Longevity. Predicted life span of CDs, DVDs, magnetic tapes, and magnetic disks. Steps to maximize media longevity by focussing on the quality and stability of the media itself, technology obsolescence and error rates in digital media. A discussion of errors in digital media, including how to measure them and how to minimize them.

Storage and Handling. A look at existing technical standards and recommendations by experts in the field. Proper storage conditions including temperature, relative humidity, light, and type of storage container. Handling procedures to minimize physical abuse and damage including equipment maintenance, labelling of materials, physical handling of items, and periodic winding of magnetic tapes.

Decision Tree for Preservation of Media. A systematic look at the key decisions that need to be made and key procedures to follow in order to properly preserve modern information carriers and the information stored on them. Several information resources are provided to assist in the decision-making process.

Disaster Recovery. Procedures for the recovery of modern information carriers from water, fire, dust/dirt, mould, and shock. Note: This topic will be discussed only if time permits.

Who Should Attend?

Archivists, collections managers, conservators, curators and other personnel responsible for the preservation of modern information carriers.


The workshop was fully subscribed and registration closed Sep 26, 2012.

A Wait List is being compiled in case of cancellation. To add your name to the Wait List email Rosemary.

A travel subsidy is available to CNSA members.


October 25, 2012
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Akins Room, Nova Scotia Archives
6016 University Ave.
Halifax,Nova ScotiaCanada
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