Since 1974, archivists in Michigan have been looking for ways to preserve the state’s electronic records in such a way that they could both last for hundreds of years and always be easily searchable by government officials and the public at large. But until very recently, there simply wasn't an available system that would allow that vision to be realized.

Archivist Mark Harvey said that over the years the state figured out piecemeal ways to preserve data, such as storing files on network drives, CDs, DVDs and other portable media.

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