As anyone who has ever turned to a 17th century title deed to settle a boundary dispute will know, data archiving technology can be fickle.

So Obiter is a trifle unsettled by the House of Lords’ decision that, from April, parliament will no longer print copies of all new legislation on calfskin vellum for the archives. Apparently the move will save £80,000 a year and everyone seems confident that paper records will survive to the end of history.

Obiter just wonders what would have happened had the decision been taken just 30 years ago, and the historic record archived on 3-inch Compact Floppy discs compatible with the CP/M operating system. Or perhaps on VHD videodisc?