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I'm usually a lurker on this list but thought I should weigh in. Here at
the Naropa University Archive Project we store all of our digital audio
preservation masters on both Gold and Silver CDs, Sony AIT data tapes,
and a RAID system on our server. For digital preservation masters I
don't feel comfortable with fewer than three versions in three separate
locations.

That said, I'm beginning to lean more in favor of all of those versions
being stored on distributed hard drives -- with the possibility of still
maintaining tape backups as a last resort. (I'm leaning in that
direction, but not willing to make the move yet.) The reason for this is
the massive amount of materials and labor involved in maintaining large
collections of CDs, and the labor expenses involved in migrating them
when the time comes. 

And I'd say that the key word is 'migration.' Having made the decision
to preserve our audio materials digitally means that we have also
committed to migrating them to new media on a regular basis, determined
by the longevity of the media and the hardware to access those media.
Managing the files on at least three large hard drives and migrating
them to new drives in the future -- when they've reached a reasonable
lifespan, or when one of the three crashes -- seems the simplest safe
solution for this process. But I'll still be thinking about it for
awhile.

Tim Hawkins, Archivist
Naropa University Archive Project
2130 Arapahoe, Boulder, CO 80302
303-245-4751