Re: videotape circulation

Nell Chenault (
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:33:10 -0700 (PDT)

Frank Landrum is correct about the variables which effect the life of a
tape. Another important variable is the quality of the magnetic tape used
by the producer. The Library of Congress was doing studies on the life
span of magnetic media, but I have not seen the results of their study
posted on their preservation web site.

James Scholtz' Developing and Maintaining Video Colletions in Libraries
('89) suggests approximately 250 plays, 20 years. He points out some still
play well after 500 uses. I've had poor quality videos die with less than
100 uses.

At 08:31 AM 7/19/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Does anyone have figures on the durability of VHS tape, esp. how many
>times a cassette can circulate before drop-outs, degradation, etc. make
>it unwatchable?
>In my case, the setting is a public library with heavy video
>circulation. The tapes are stored upright, but not always rewound after
>use. Many of the tapes are over ten years old. Some have circulated
>300+ times.
> Mike

Nell J. Chenault
Cabell Media Resource Services
University Library Services
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA 23284-2033 (804) 828-1088 FAX: 828-7473