Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter has a good article on preserving your genealogy data.
“Genealogists have long relied on paper for storing their genealogy publications. While useful, paper does not last forever. Even the best acid-free paper will deteriorate someday. Even worse, today’s printer inks and laser toners used to print on that paper will disappear many years earlier. Suppose, then, that you print out your records on the finest quality archival paper today and put it away in a safe deposit box for posterity. Within ten or twenty years, that data may become unreadable as the printed characters slowly fade away. The cruel irony is that high-quality, acid-free paper is worthless if it looks blank!
Life expectancy of the media used for storage isn’t the only issue. A bigger problem may be the capability to read that media many years after its creation. Paper records are easy to read if the paper does not disintegrate and the ink does not fade. However, other media are often used and almost always have limitations. “
You can read the rest of the article here (Plus edition/subscription required)