RE: 3/4"-Umatic and 16mm Film Replacements

Gail Fedak 898-2740 (
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 14:59:58 -0600 (CST)

We began a massive conversion from 3/4 inch to VHS in 1991. We began with our
vendor list and separated individual titles from series titles. For each title
group we sent each vendor a form letter in which we described our reasons for
needing to change formats and specifying that we would destroy the 3/4 inch
tapes after they were duplicated. We began keeping files according to our
responses - yes, no, yes if you pay a fee, etc. When the Post Office returned
lettyers as undeliverable, we made every effort we could to locate the company
at a new address and often sent a letter to said new address. We documented our
efforts to locate "lost" companies, and after several failed attempts to locate
them, we decided to go ahead and transfer their titles. Before we transferred
all these titles, we noted the date of last use, the total number of uses, and
contacted faculty who could be reached concerning the usefulness of old,
seldom-used titles. In doing this, we were able to discard many titles. We did
not transfer titles which we were required to purchase at 50% or more of the
original price. We have replaced a few of these year by year as faculty have
requested specific titles be replaced. We still have several hundred 3/4 inch
tapes in the collection, but they are gradually being phased out. Needless to
say that all this was a monumental undertaking and took 5 - 6 years to complete
because we had graduate assistants working on the project (20 hours per week)
and catalog all our materials manually. I must say that the effort was well
worth it.

Good luck,
Gail Fedak, Coordinator
Instructional Media Resources
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132