Earlier this month I spend another day working with Leontien Talboom, Technical Analyst at Cambridge University Library, working on getting data from our 5.25″ floppy disks, following up on our previous work at the end of last year. Since then our understanding of the complexities involved has developed significantly, moving on from using the self-contained FC5025 device within CUL’s digital preservation workstation to buying and testing various old drives, and looking into using other software and interfaces to read the raw flux from the disks.

We’ve written up a blog post of this work which can be found here.

We’re planning on reconvening in May to read the disks that we weren’t able to get through this time (working through them slowly, cleaning the drive between each read). After that the next steps will be looking to derive individual files from the flux copies of the 5.25″ disks that we have obtained, and looking to obtain hardware to read our c. 250 even older 8″ floppies; a daunting prospect considering how complex working with only 30 5.25″ disks has proved to be.

Chris Knowles, Digital Archivist