Housing and Storing AV Materials: A Basic Introduction

Housing and Storing AV Materials:
A Basic Introduction
December 1, 2010
Jane Hedberg
Senior Preservation Program Officer
Elizabeth Walters
Preservation Program Officer for Audiovisual Materials
Liz Coffey
Film Conservator in the College Library
Weissman Preservation Center
Purpose of Workshop: Overview
Brief introduction to the formats
most commonly found in libraries
Brief recommendations for proper
handling, housing and storing of
those formats
Brief descriptions of the most atrisk items
Durability of Audiovisual Materials
In spite of some
advertisers’ claims,
AV carriers are not
permanent or
AV materials were
not designed for
long-term use
“Benign Neglect” is
not an acceptable
preservation option
for most AV materials
AV carriers and equipment are
The more complex
the system, the
more likely
something will fail
AV systems can
suffer from:
Carrier failure
Carrier and equipment
Carrier and equipment
General Threats of
Chemical, mechanical or biological
Decay of component materials
Improper playback
Careless handling
Deterioration may not be visually obvious
Handling: General Guidelines
Minimize handling as much as possible
If you do have to handle it, use extreme care
Avoid touching recording surfaces
Always have clean hands, in some cases
wear gloves
Avoid wearing clothing with hard
fasteners, decorations, etc.
Remove any jewelry, ID badges, etc. that
could snag on media
Treat all carriers as if they are heavy,
fragile, and brittle
Handling: General Guidelines, cont.
Avoid drops or sudden shocks
Work surfaces should be clean, uncluttered,
sturdy, and large enough for the materials
Minimize exposure to dust, heat, moisture,
and light
Never try to play back legacy AV carriers
Never write on containers while carriers are
Do not leave carriers outside their
containers any longer than necessary
Train staff in proper handling techniques
Storage: General Guidelines
Provide proper containers
Store carriers in proper orientation
Separate different types of carriers, if
Keep the environment as clean, cool,
dry, and dark as possible
IPI Media Storage: Quick Reference
(for magnetic media, film, CDs and DVDs)
Containers: General Guidelines
Sturdy construction
Made of inert materials
Should not react with carrier materials
Prevent movement of carrier inside
Keep carrier in proper storage orientation
Open and close so as not to damage the
Provide protection against water or insect
Prime Directive for AV Materials
Always retain originals or
designated masters after
The WPC staff will help
you, or will put you in
contact with someone
who can.
There are many
resources available on
campus, and in the
wider audiovisual
Please Contact Us
Weissman Preservation Center
Jane Hedberg [email protected]
Elizabeth Walters [email protected]
Liz Coffey [email protected]

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