What does the government departments of Belize do about ARCHIVING historical data and reports for stuff used in the new computer technological age?
Should the ARCHIVES department and the National Library Service have colored printers and start printing out the two copies they require for their collections for students and research work in the future?
How do you save electronic data? In a changing technological world, in which the electronic methods themselves change within every 5 or 6 year period? There is also the problem of loss of data in the electronic medium.
My own idea is that electronic data should be printed out on paper and saved and archived, by both the National Library Service and also the Archives Department in Belmopan. This means that they would not, as in the past, get two free copies by law from every publisher. Stuff on Belize is now being done solely by Electronic Web page means today. Much of it, does not exist in printed form. Yet, I know from my own experiences, master disks of books that I have written and published on paper, are no longer usable. The magnetic configuration has gone. Some websites on Belize with information do not last long either. Servers and ISP providers go out of business in consolidations and changes in the commercial world.
On the Belize Electronic Resource and Development Library at: http://AmbergrisCaye.com/BzLibrary we have a section on History, a section on Development Issues and many reports. There is a section on Belizean Web Sites that do not exist in any other form. All of these things need collecting in printed form to be archived by those historians charged with these collections. Future generations of students and scholars will wish to refer to this data. It probably can only be done on paper and in printed form. A new policy on archiving seems to be needed in Belmopan.