In thinking about the preservation of books and paper, I found my way to this web site that is pretty much dedicated to such things. They have a wide variety of products to protect photos, books, papers, journals, etc. Has anyone considered lamination of paper? It is really quite cheap and most all printing shops offer this service. If not for large amounts of info, how about laminating lists of instructions, checklists for setting up camps, etc? At least this way the info would be safe from water damage and from tearing and stuff like that.
Offered by Michael.
Instead of lamination another way might be to use mylar sheets. When I took a cartography course we made maps on letter size opaque mylar. If the geography department sold this stuff then I am sure that it can be found somwhere. Just run it through a photocopier like paper. Metal plates like stainless steel one would think would be a really good medium to record data but history has proved that metal - regardless of its cultural, intellectual importance - has always invariably been recycled into cooking pots, swords, plows etc.
Here is one way you can keep written information for a really long time, and it is proven to keep information for 1000's of years, through direct exposure to hostile environments that would render paper or CD-ROMs unusable in about a year. Go out and get some clay, make a tile of a uniform thickness -about 1/4 inch would probably be OK-and with a stylus write the information that you want to keep. Once the clay has dried out in the air, fire it. You all may laugh but if you look at nearly all the Mesopotamian writings we have today, Epic of Gilgamesh, The enuma elish, which chronicles the myths of the creation of the world of the Summarians/Akadians and a host of others all came to use on clay tablets from the ruins of libraries. It is harder to keep lots of data in a compact way, but once fired you would have to grind them up into a fine powder to completely destroy the information on them.
Offered by Gus.
Tiles are a possible medium for storing information for the after- pole-shift time. The main problem would be capacity and manual entering of data, hence it would only be a viable solution for very limited, very critical information. Lamination of paper would be higher capacity but lower life-span. All laminated paper I have seen has disintegrated over time, even though it can take a lot more than non-laminated paper. Possibly a good solution for protecting medium size paper documents. Check-lists etc. would be perfect.
Offered by Jan.