Somewhere in Maryland, USA they’ve managed to lose 698 boxes of magnetic tape. Not just any old tape, but the original recordings of the Apollo11 moon landings. Given the conspiracy theories that have grown around the landings – did they, didn’t they, was it all faked in a film studio – this has the potential to change history. No evidence, then it didn’t happen!

The article in the Guardian does also point to a more pressing problem for those who maintain archives and data collections – “How will we read it ?”. The Space Centre in Maryland has the only equipment to play back the original recordings. In the future  we may have no means of reading computer-generated archives produced on redundant technology.  The written material – letters and diaries, which allow us to know so much about the thoughts and lives of those who contributed to the science,history and arts we celebrate has been replaced, for many, by e-mails, texts and electronic diaries – will researchers have access to this in the future – does it matter?