Re: Videotape Preservation Survey

Sara Holmes (sjholmes@att.net)
Mon, 26 Nov 2001 17:54:56 -0800 (PST)

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Sorry if I did not make it clear, but the survey is something that Jim
Wheeler has had in mind for awhile and I volunteered to help conduct as
part of a student project to assist in conducting it. Jim is the chair of
AMIA's (Association of Moving Image Archivists) Preservation Committee and
the survey was briefly discussed at one of the Preservation Committee's
sessions earlier this month at the Portland meeting. Jim is one of the
earliest advocates for preservation of magnetic media and maintains
contacts within the video industry. Jim would like to use the information
gathered from the survey to impress upon the videotape industry that there
is a significant market in libraries and archives that desire to maintain
videotape for long-term storage and access.

Although the survey is being conducted somewhat informally, neither Jim nor
I have any way to profit from the possible development of an economical
digital videotape that is suitable for archival purposes other than to feel
more secure that images being recorded onto videotape may have a greater
chance of being preserved in the future.

Sara Holmes

-------------------------
Sara J. Holmes
Graduate Student
Preservation and Conservation Studies
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
The University of Texas at Austin
http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~sjholmes/
sjholmes@worldnet.att.net

At 03:59 PM 11/26/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>I don't quite understand how this information is going to be used, Jim,
>and who's sponsoring it. Looks like commercial grist to me...
>
>Gary Handman
>
>
>At 08:31 AM 11/26/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>>Those who seek to preserve videotape are familiar with the dilemmas
>>created by the diversity of multiple formats of a short-lived medium that
>>must be resolved on a limited budget. Currently, videotape formats are
>>tailored to the needs and whims of the broadcast market, producing tapes
>>that are poorly designed for archival purposes.
>>
>>Therefore, the international archival and library community needs to
>>demonstrate the size of the archival market to the manufacturers of
>>videotape and video equipment. Only then will engineers seek to develop
>>media better suited to preservation reformatting of videotape so that
>>archives and libraries can fulfill their missions to preserve the records
>>they house. This is not an attempt to establish the elusive universal
>>preservation format, but simply an attempt to show manufacturers the need
>>for a digital tape with better physical qualities, such as a thicker tape
>>base, so that economically priced digital tapes can reasonably be
>>expected to last at least 20-30 years with a minimum of susceptibility to
>>chemical or mechanical deterioration during that time. Current digital
>>formats popular in the consumer market do not meet these standards.
>>
>>Please take a few minutes to fill out the following survey, available
>>online, to estimate the preservation needs and approximate budget for
>>videotape reformatting for your institution. This survey is for any
>>institution, public or private, anywhere in the world, containing any
>>amount of videotape. Even if you have not begun a reformatting program
>>presently, it is important to represent all institutions that hope to
>>preserve video collections in the future. The survey can found at
>>http://home.att.net/~sjholmes/
>>
>>Please be sure to include copyrighted videotapes held by your
>>institution, such as instructional collections, that may be copied for
>>preservation purposes under copyright law.
>>
>>There is no commitment to purchase any equipment or media to be implied
>>by participating in the survey, nor will contact names be distributed to
>>salesmen. All data received will be compiled in order to demonstrate the
>>market size of institutions archiving tape.
>>
>>The survey is being conducted by Jim Wheeler (Jimwheeler@aol.com),
>>currently president of Tape Archival and Restoration Services in Belmont,
>>California and formerly a tape engineer with Ampex, and by Sara J. Holmes
>>(sjholmes@worldnet.att.net), a graduate student in conservation at the
>>Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of
>>Texas at Austin. Please feel free to address any questions regarding the
>>survey to either person.
>>
>> The videotape survey can be found at:
>> http://home.att.net/~sjholmes/
>
>Gary Handman
>Director
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
>510-643-8566
>ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

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Sorry if I did not make it clear, but the survey is something that Jim Wheeler has had in mind for awhile and I volunteered to help conduct as part of a student project to assist in conducting it. Jim is the chair of AMIA's (Association of Moving Image Archivists) Preservation Committee and the survey was briefly discussed at one of the Preservation Committee's sessions earlier this month at the Portland meeting. Jim is one of the earliest advocates for preservation of magnetic media and maintains contacts within the video industry. Jim would like to use the information gathered from the survey to impress upon the videotape industry that there is a significant market in libraries and archives that desire to maintain videotape for long-term storage and access.

Although the survey is being conducted somewhat informally, neither Jim nor I have any way to profit from the possible development of an economical digital videotape that is suitable for archival purposes other than to feel more secure that images being recorded onto videotape may have a greater chance of being preserved in the future.

Sara Holmes

-------------------------
Sara J. Holmes
Graduate Student
Preservation and Conservation Studies
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
The University of Texas at Austin
http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~sjholmes/
sjholmes@worldnet.att.net






At 03:59 PM 11/26/2001 -0800, you wrote:

I don't quite understand how this information is going to be used, Jim, and who's sponsoring it.   Looks like commercial grist to me...

Gary Handman


At 08:31 AM 11/26/2001 -0800, you wrote:
Those who seek to preserve videotape are familiar with the dilemmas created by the diversity of multiple formats of a short-lived medium that must be resolved on a limited budget. Currently, videotape formats are tailored to the needs and whims of the broadcast market, producing tapes that are poorly designed for archival purposes.

Therefore, the international archival and library community needs to demonstrate the size of the archival market to the manufacturers of videotape and video equipment. Only then will engineers seek to develop media better suited to preservation reformatting of videotape so that archives and libraries can fulfill their missions to preserve the records they house. This is not an attempt to establish the elusive universal preservation format, but simply an attempt to show manufacturers the need for a digital tape with better physical qualities, such as a thicker tape base, so that economically priced digital tapes can reasonably be expected to last at least 20-30 years with a minimum of susceptibility to chemical or mechanical deterioration during that time. Current digital formats popular in the consumer market do not meet these standards.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the following survey, available online, to estimate the preservation needs and approximate budget for videotape reformatting for your institution. This survey is for any institution, public or private, anywhere in the world, containing any amount of videotape. Even if you have not begun a reformatting program presently, it is important to represent all institutions that hope to preserve video collections in the future. The survey can found at http://home.att.net/~sjholmes/

Please be sure to include copyrighted videotapes held by your institution, such as instructional collections, that may be copied for preservation purposes under copyright law.

There is no commitment to purchase any equipment or media to be implied by participating in the survey, nor will contact names be distributed to salesmen. All data received will be compiled in order to demonstrate the market size of institutions archiving tape.

The survey is being conducted by Jim Wheeler (Jimwheeler@aol.com), currently president of Tape Archival and Restoration Services in Belmont, California and formerly a tape engineer with Ampex, and by Sara J. Holmes (sjholmes@worldnet.att.net), a graduate student in conservation at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin. Please feel free to address any questions regarding the survey to either person.

        The videotape survey can be found at: http://home.att.net/~sjholmes/

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
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