To quote an article by Terry Kuny entitled A Digital Dark Ages?: Challenges in the Preservation of Electronic Information:
And that's from someone in the digital field.Digital collections facilitate access, but do not facilitate preservation. Being digital means being ephemeral. Digital places greater emphasis on the here-and-now rather than the long-term, just-in-time information rather than just-in-case.
We'll see whose pictures are still here in 100 years (barring fires and natural disasters that could destroy the houses of those who keep negatives and slides, and movie reels).
It seems that in this era of the digital rush that people are just eager to forget the past or think that digital technology is mature and infallible and to save a dime here and there (though there's nothing wrong with that, I like to spend money where it counts).
"Oh, It'll stay in the Cloud! This hard drive is brand new!, etc., etc.!"
I only hope that someone by then will have had the good graces to preserve what remains of analog means of recording. I hope to one day get an analog photography project started, documenting the basics of the mechanics of famous brands of film cameras and what makes them tick, etc. and all that. I still have that in mind. All I need to do is get better at managing my time.
In the meantime, I will go only into a fully digital means of color photography kicking and screaming if E6 (and later, C41, but I really would be hesitant to adapt it, due to the greater instability of the color) goes extinct, grudgingly shooting digital (with a lot of B&W film).
I used to be a 100% digital zombie, but then I came to realize how important film is in preserving the past, while staying in the present.