But then, I read a little further. As these articles pointed out, a computer archive is NOT an archival copy of your data. For one thing, if you store your back-ups in the same building in which your computer is located, a catastrophe which would destroy your computer would also destroy your back-up drive. So you should AT LEAST be keeping a second electronic back-up in another location.
But...even that is not enough. We need to think further ahead; to a time when we are no longer around to be maintaining these archives. What happens when someone discovers your files. What about 10 years...20 years.....even further down the road... Can we be sure that our genealogy software will still be compatible with the computers of the future. I can answer that pretty definitively with a big, loud "NO!" In fact, earlier this summer I retrieved an email I'd saved in a document several years ago. Unfortunately, I'd saved it as a ClarisWorks file, and I could no longer open it on my computer. Lucky for me, I do still have an old computer here and I can plug it in and turn it on.....someday. But the point is that one of these days that computer will no longer be here and then what?
The articles I read STRONGLY encouraged keeping paper copies of your hard work. As they stated, paper has been around for centuries, and the data on the paper is still retrievable. With that in mind, this week I started working on print-outs of family group sheets. Hopefully, once I get these printed, I will go back to them every couple of years and print out updated copies as I find new information. This isn't the prettiest solution, at least for me, because I find it much harder to organize paper. I can't just 'link' to another person in the family, or a person who is almost certainly related but I don't yet have the proof I need to include him in the family. But at least SOME of my work is available for the future!
What about you? Do you have a plan for archiving your genealogy? Tell me about it, because I could use your experience!