Ok, so I have a tweet that's getting kind of popular on birbsite and I want to share the essence here too:

A guy tweeted that MySpace had lost all the music uploaded to it from 2003-2015. " An entire archive just... gone, forever."

So... this is your periodic reminder that uploading stuff to a website isn't an archive.

Someone responded:

"As an artist that stores their art on twitter and a lot of art related sites. This troubles me deeply. Imagine if Twitter or even Youtube did this. Every video gone forever."

And just holy yikes, y'all. This gave me palpitations.

Please don't think of uploading/sharing stuff as "storing" it on any of these sites--twitter/tumblr/etc. There's no good retrieval process, you don't control compression, etc. It's nice to access stuff one's shared for resharing but not storage.


@platypus Art: you keep the original files, without watermark or your URL, and NOT shrunk or compressed to save bandwidth for online viewing. Then you make backups. Multiple.
Keep one somewhere you don't live, in case your house burns down.

@platypus also, if it's digital art, don't flatten the layers in your archive files.

@Anke @platypus Yes, all of this. External hard drives are your friend.

@Anke @platypus
Traditional art: You keep the originals in a dry, mould-free, fire-safe, lockable, closed-off container that should also be cat-proof (I learned that last bit the hard way). But before you store them there, you scan them on a flatbed scanner, check color accuracy in case of color originals, at a minimum of 600 DPI (1200 is better if possible). Then you treat the scanned files as above.

@Anke @platypus (note: I don't follow all of these for all my originals, because there are simply too many of them and I no longer care about the ones from before the year 2000. But if they have value, those are the steps to protect them as much as possible)

@aldersprig @Reinderdijkhuis IIRC the original art for much of the Hepcats comic are gone because they were not stored in a rabbit proof place.

@Reinderdijkhuis @Anke @platypus cat proof and rat proof and silverfish proof. I learned a lot by storing my smoke damaged HS art portfolio in my parents' barn after their house burned. There's a lot of ways things will be destroyed if you don't pay attention and check on them!

@Reinderdijkhuis @Anke @platypus incidentally, if you are planning on your house catching fire, glass is great for protecting photos and art from smoke damage, but the heat can make inks smear and run. We have some family photos with some wonderful /awful horror movie effects from aforementioned fire.
Be warned, there's a good chance pictures will be stuck to the glass, but if you have several in the same frame, the ones in back will mostly be ok

@narF @Anke @aldersprig definitely. I consider a lot of things ephemeral. BUT in that case, they probably wouldn't talk about "storing" said art or call places they'd uploaded it an "archive."

@narF @Anke @platypus @aldersprig even ephemeral works are usually documented in some way, by photo/video. In which case you should treat the files like they were master copies of digital work as described above- largest file size you can stand, no watermarks, and backed up to at least one hard drives that does not live in your house.

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