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The ways in which we share information has changed dramatically in since the 1800’s. From the use of one-room schools, apprenticeships and words of mouth sharing, to the ability to store thousands of books in one data stick, the changes are astounding. What would take days to create in the 1800’s now takes minutes. While we store information very differently today then we once did, the old ways of storing information have had a direct effect on how we store information today.
One example of our storage of information is our school system. Just like information was once passed down to kids as students, where they subsequently stored this information in their brains. While this is not hard storage, it is the most prevalent kind of information storage tool we could possible use. The nineteenth century school system taught reading, writing arithmetic, grammar, rhetoric and geography, not unlike our modern school system.
Another way in which we store information that took off in the nineteenth century is through newspapers. Newspapers are an excellent way both to record and review historical data. Although newspapers had been around for about five centuries, the industrial revolution brought about the printing press and changed the face of newspapers forever. These new, large printing presses could print up to 10,000 newspapers per hour. Between 1850 and 1880, the number of newspapers in print increased from 2,526 to 11,314. Since the information contained in these newspapers contains so much historical data, it became important to preserve these newspapers. In order to preserve old newspapers, microfilm has been used. Microfilm was invented in 1839, but did not begin to be used for preservation purposes until the 1950’s. Now, newspapers keep online archives of their old articles to be able to review for historical purposes.
It is not just papers we have learned to preserve for their historical value. It is also artifacts. The 1960’s and 70’s brought forth great strides in preservation knowledge. When an artifact is first discovered it must be conserved, which includes analyzing and stabilizing the item. Then restoration should take place if possible. After this, preserving the item becomes the major chore. Items sometimes have to be in places where the climate is strictly controlled. This includes, temperature, humidity, lighting, pests and more. People must not be able to continually touch the object either, since the oils on our skin can cause objects to further deteriorate. Also, we have learned that some objects have inherent vices, meaning that the parts of the object itself cause it to deteriorate faster. An example of this is wood and leather. Upon doing all the other preservation techniques, items that have inherent vices must be checked often.
Modern times have brought storage on computers and digital cameras that can take unlimited pictures, but our history was not always so well documented. It is so important that we have learned how to preserve various forms of history over the years. Without the huge leaps in data preservation we have made between the 1800’s and now, there is a lot of history we would have lost. With the advent of the printing press, a higher emphasis on education, and the knowledge how to preserve documents and artifacts which cannot be replicated has created a time where history is truly at our fingertips.
Barber, Phil. 'Newspaper History'. Historicpages.Com. Last modified 2015. Accessed July 19, 2015. http://www.historicpages.com/nprhist.htm.
Heritagearchives.org,. 'Heritagemicrofilm.Com'. Heritagearchives.Org. Last modified 2015. Accessed July 19, 2015. http://www.heritagearchives.org/history.aspx.
Mental Floss,. '11 Ways School Was Different In The 1800S'. Last modified 2015. Accessed July 19, 2015. http://mentalfloss.com/article/58705/11-ways-school-was-different-1800s.
Nationalww2museum.org,. 'The National WWII Museum | New Orleans: Give: Preservation Of Artifacts'. Nationalww2museum.Org. Last modified 2015. Accessed July 19, 2015. http://www.nationalww2museum.org/give/donate-an-artifact/preservation-of- artifacts.html.
Nautarch.tamu.edu,. 'Overview Of Conservation In Archaeology; Basic Archaeological Conservation Procedures - Conservation Manual - Conservation Research Laboratory - Center For Maritime Archaeology And Conservation - Texas A&M University'. Nautarch.Tamu.Edu. Last modified 2015. Accessed July 19, 2015. http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/conservationmanual/File1.htm.