Re: Archival copies of VHS's

Gary Handman (
Fri, 18 Oct 2002 08:11:12 -0700 (PDT)


Yes, indeed, we have possession of large amounts of material which could be
considered archival: locally-produced materials; oral histories--not to
mention the large (and growing larger) number of
out-of-distribution-forever titles from the likes of Films Inc and Time
Life. I quake (or used to) each time one of these babies went out to a
classroom for viewing. Here's what we do now: on project basis, we've
gone thru the collection and made second copies of everything we could
identify as unique and at risk (yeah, even the commercial stuff...). We
retain the copy 1 as copy of record and circulate the copy 2. Even more
recently we've bought a glitzy Phillips DVD burner...need I say
more? We've begun burning DVD copies to replace the copy 2 (circulating
copy) mentioned above. For the commercial stuff, our cataloging record for
the DVD copy says something like

Title no longer distributed on tape.
Transferred from VHS to DVD format 8/05/02, Media Resources Center,
University of California, Berkeley.

At 07:35 PM 10/17/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Do any of you have responsibility for copies of VHS's which are
>designated as "archive" copies, where they are the only known copy owned
>by a library? If so, what are your policies and procedures regarding
>viewing of these tapes? What would you recommend doing differently if
>you were able to implement changes?
>I'm particularly concerned about videos of local historical value rather
>than commercial films. At present our Local History/Genealogy
>collection has no equipment in that department for viewing any of its AV
>materials. We're looking into remedying that situation but also need to
>deal with viewing requests in the meantime.
>Secondly, has anyone begun transferring this type of film to DVD? If
>so, did you make the transfers yourself or have it done elsewhere? Any
>advice on this type of project? We have a number of oral histories for
>which copyright is not an issue. They were interviews of prominent
>local people, conducted for the Library. The originals were done on
>U-Matic and have already been transferred to VHS.
>Pat Shufeldt
>Greenville (SC) County Library System

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley