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Text by Yoko Chapman

hy don’t you take a picture? It lasts longer! This is a familiar phrase that you can still hear echoing in schoolyards across North America – and it has never been more true than it is today. A picture certainly will last longer, but only if you print it and tuck it away in a shoebox or photo album for future generations to discover. If you leave it on your hard drive, it will just get lost and forgotten among the thousands of photos you take every year. Remember the 5.25 inch floppy disk? Seemed like an outstanding idea at the time, but, just a couple decades later, no one has

the hardware to read them. Paper is very versatile and, when stored properly, could last upwards of 500 years. What will happen 500 years from now when the software we use to store and read our digital data has become obsolete? The threat of a Digital Dark Age is real and has huge potential to affect both our business and personal lives. Not only do we risk losing track of our own family history, businesses and governments are at serious risk of losing access to digital records. This isn’t something that many of us think about every day, but it’s a much larger problem than most people realize.

Going beyond the issues of file security and longevity, as we shift more and more correspondences and captured moments to a digital record, what will happen to the beautiful tactile experiences of days past? Can an email ever make the same impact as a handwritten letter? Can an iPhone background every replace the framed photo on your desk? While working on this article, I came across some very beautiful and interesting paper documents that were literally tucked away in shoeboxes in the basement. Opening the boxes was very exciting – I could have spent days going through all the old newspaper clippings, wedding invitations, telegrams, certificates and family photos. I was able to discover six generations of really interesting items from my family’s history: • A telegram from 1903 • A death announcement from 1892 • A thank you note from the Lady-inWaiting at Balmoral Castle on behalf of the Queen from 1954 • A photograph of the Riel family on River Road where my husband’s grandmother was a neighbour • Tintype photos from the 1800s • My grandmother’s metal index address book from the ’50s with phone numbers that had letters in them • Documents on Sir John Henry Pelly, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who turns out to be my daughter’s great, great, great grandfather Finding these clippings was exciting. Tracing my family’s roots while digging through a shoebox was an experience I’ll never forget. And, while scanning through photos or scanned documents on an iPad is fun, it can never replace the feeling of flipping through a childhood photo album or finding your extra wedding invitations stored away in a closet. So print your photos! Write letters! Send real invitations! The perfect solution for digital data storage and preservation has yet to be hammered out, so let’s all put aside a shoebox full of memories just in case. Turn to the next page for examples of shoebox treasures. Photo: Erin Alexander Photography Vintage Veruca Antiques: Ink, Glasses Cat & Fiddle Studio: Stamps, Tins, Rulers, Pins, Erasers



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Ayoko Magazine Vol. 3  

Print media continues to be an important tool for business, and Ayoko Magazine’s format, style and content, illustrates how our business too...

Ayoko Magazine Vol. 3  

Print media continues to be an important tool for business, and Ayoko Magazine’s format, style and content, illustrates how our business too...

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