Idaho documents fall prey to paper-eating bugs

October 9th, 2012 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management

When people hear about records being destroyed in a natural disaster, many may picture file cabinets being swept away by floods or papers being reduced to ash by a raging fire. However, that was not the case recently in Shoshone, Idaho, where a number of important documents were destroyed because of another force.

According to The Associated Press, some files in the town were destroyed because of unknown paper-eating bugs. The damage was discovered when volunteers decided to go through the documents because they were going to be digitized. At least two whole books holding records were irreparably damaged, the source said, though town leaders didn't specify what was on the eaten pages.

Townspeople have been moving records from as far back as the 1930s onto computers. Files in the warehouse where the destruction occurred include court rulings, birth certificates, marriage licenses and land deeds, the AP reported.

While it's good that volunteers in Shoshone are now making moves to digitize their records, had they done so when the technology was first available, some of the destroyed files could have been saved. As such, businesses everywhere should transfer the information on their files to computer servers using conversion services as soon as possible to protect their data before it's too late.

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