re storing video materials
Sat, 14 Jul 2001 10:38:49 -0700 (PDT)

The question of what kind of plastic boxes to use for tape storage may be
answerable in theory but irrelevant in practice, for a lending library anyway.
Our experience indicates that safe storage of video materials is largely a
question of keeping temperature and humidity within safe limits. Suggested
parameters are 50 to 65 degrees, and 30 to 40 percent relative humidity, with
minimum fluctuations. (Videotape likes dry and cool but in any event doesn't
like changes.) And air in that room should circulate. Even then, factors
over which one can have no control -- such as the tape manufacturer's
technique for bonding magnetic material to the tape backing -- can determine
its life. In our archive of arts documentaries we have some video masters
made in the 60's (the Iron Age when it comes to video) that have outlived
dubs from them made in the 80's.
So, all in all, when you consider the treatment that library tapes will get
once they are out of your control, well.......
Stephan Chodorov
Creative Arts Television