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Restore Records Management News

Captain’s blog: sea date 1261886

Published on 20 March 2018

Captain’s blog: sea date 1261886

Excuse us if we come over a bit Sting (or is that Star Trek?) at this message in a bottle story – but, how old?!

Last week the press reported that a family in Western Australia had found the world's oldest known message in a bottle.

In January the family was wandering across some sand dunes when they found the bottle and, thinking it rather attractive, picked it up and emptied the sand out. Along with the sand a small roll of paper fell out.

Finding the paper too fragile to unroll, they took it home and dried it in the oven for a few minutes. When flattened out it revealed ink handwriting but also printing and a message asking the finder to contact the German consulate. The handwritten date was 12 June 1886.

Intrigued, they took the paper to the Western Australia Museum where experts discovered, from an archival search in Germany, that a ship named Paula conducted experiments into ocean and shipping routes by throwing thousands of messages in bottles overboard. One of the messages was indeed thrown into the ocean on 12 June 1886 and the handwriting in the record journal and on the message matched.

It is thought that the paper being very tightly rolled, the thickness of the glass and the sand within the bottle were what preserved the message, as the cork had certainly not survived.

Paper is still the thing Restore stores the most of. We store vast numbers of files containing deeds, wills, letters and a multitude of other paper documents under optimal conditions – not a grain of sand in sight.

Our online document management systems ensure you can locate the right document at the right time, whether it’s on your colleague’s desk or securely archived away in one of our deep storage locations. You can read more about O’Neil’s and our own, highly adaptable, Dovetail document management software here.

And with the GDPR implementation date creeping ever closer, you may well need to audit the information you hold in digital or paper format. We have some help for you here or if you’d like to chat about it please give us a call on 0333 220 1139.