Optical disks NARA

In the 1980s, NARA transferred about 200,000 images and documents on to optical disks – again the state-of-the-art technology of that moment. “[T]he half-life of most computer technology is between three and five years” and it is no longer certain that the disks can still be played because they depend on computer software and hardware that are no longer on the market, according to a NARA specialist. [1]

[1] Warner, Dorothy and Buschman, John. Studying the Reader/Researcher Without the Artifact: Digital Problems in the Future History of Books. Library Philosophy and Practice Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2004) http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/warner-buschman.htm