National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Storage media

Digital information can be stored in different ways on different media, such as:

  • USB sticks (solid state)
  • Portable hard drives (magnetic)
  • CD-ROMs & DVD-ROMs (optical)
  • Floppy & ZIP discs (magnetic) 

For archives, solid state storage (USB sticks and other FLASH-memory based systems) is a relevatively new phenomenon. Even portable hard drives are not yet a common sight. This section will therefor focus on traditional magnetic and optical removable media.

The following standards are relevant for storage media:

  • ISO 18925
  • NEN-EN-IEC 60908: Audio recording - Compact disc digital audio Systeem
  • ISO 10149: Information technology. Data interchange on read-only 120 mm optical data disks (CD-ROM)
  • ISO 18925: Imaging materials - Optical disc media - Storage practices

The following links provide more information about optical and magnetic carriers: