If you remember the days of floppy disks or putting something on a CD a while back then you know about the problems of data retention.
I get around this by copying older material on to larger drives as they come out, giving me the original plus at least one copy. For the really important stuff each new and bigger drive starts with this set of data.
Since disk storage is always getting cheaper and bigger, buying new drives is not expensive. None of them will last forever, of course, so enter Hitachi. They have a new storage technology that uses layers of glass in the form of quartz on which dots are inscribed and then read with a microscope. The lifetime is indefinite and it can stand up to 1,000C for a couple of hours, is waterproof, it ignores radio waves and quite a few chemicals. So if, say, the Library of Congress was inscribed on such materials then after the apocalypse, as long as binary was still understood and you had a computer, the data would be retrievable. Not really in production as yet, but I suspect the first takers will be governments, libraries and museums.
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