I'm doing some home organizing and want to label all my boxes that contain:

  • VHS tapes,
  • LP cassettes,
  • CDs,
  • DVDs,
  • Blu Ray and
  • Hard Disk Drives

as something, but not my boxes containing paper media like:

  • books
  • magazines,
  • printed photos,
  • college notes,
  • postal mail,
  • personal writing etc.

Is there a better word than "media"? I'd like to summarize all of the first list but not the second ones with the same word.

  • media. List #2 is articles. Books get their own boxes entirely.
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 21:33
  • Come on, now. Just use all those words. By definition, they are not paper. Media versus printed matter.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 22:19
  • Note that punchcards intuitively belong to the first category even though they are made of the same material as is used for some of the items in the second category.
    – jsw29
    Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 23:35
  • This is the geeks equivalent of non binary gender. Thankfully I don't own any punchcards to declutter so I'll leave the rest of your to fight that one out! Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


electronic media

Electronic media are media that use electronics or electromechanical means for the audience to access the content. This is in contrast to static media (mainly print media), which today are most often created digitally, but do not require electronics to be accessed by the end user in the printed form. Wiki

Secure Disposal of Paper & Electronic Media California State Univ.

I presume non-paper static media include film on reels, photo negatives, View-Master "reels", wax cylinders, vinyl records, metal discs for calliopes and music boxes, campaign buttons, metal advertising signs, etc. that can be viewed, printed, or played without electronics. Stories told on totem poles would (wood?) qualify. Sky writing and smoke signals may be outliers: they are certainly not electronic, but not quite static either. Disposal isn't an issue, but security and storage are.

non-paper media

Paper and Non-paper media UV&S

"How to approach shredding non-paper media items for security" shredonsite

  • Thanks x 2 (second one for the links). Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 18:42
  • 1
    Notwithstanding the quotation from the Wikipedia, electronic and static do not seem to be contrasting terms. Most people would think of compact discs as electronic media even if they cannot be overwritten, and are thus, intuitively, static. On the other hand, a blackboard is definitely neither electronic nor static. Also, the question was not clear about where traditional films, wax cylinders, and suchlike belong: they are like the items in the first category in that they require some equipment to be used, but like the items in the second in that they require no electronic equipment.
    – jsw29
    Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 23:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.