Re: Videotape Preservation Survey

Sara Holmes (
Tue, 27 Nov 2001 14:07:37 -0800 (PST)

Jim Wheeler asked me to forward the following e-mail in response to Gary
Handman's questions about the videotape preservation survey since he can't
post directly to the list. Jim can be reached at if needed.



I hope that Sara's response answered your concerns.

Videotape has been the best medium for storing video--IF it is stored in a
cool and dry environment. In recent years, all of the videotape recorder
manufacturers have been producing formats that are on fragile media and the
video is compressed. Both of these are bad for archival video but okay for
news and documentaries. The videotape recorder market is driven by the
Broadcast Industry.

For equipment manufacturers to consider producing an archival format, they
must be shown data that there is a market. I have been thinking about this
for several years but it wasn't until I saw a posting on the AMIA-L by Sara
that I saw someone who could develop such a survey.

Within the past year, there have been Hard Drive and DataTape formats
introduced that can store over two hours of uncompressed video. I want to
inform these manufacturers that there is a need (and a market) for archival
storage media.

Next month, I will be meeting with professor Neal Bertram at the Center for
Magnetic Recording Research at UC-San Diego. I have known Neal for about 30
years and I want to brainstorm about storage media. In 1997, I helped Neal
put together an Archival Storage Workshop. I believe it is time to have a
follow-up workshop.

Best Wishes,