Housing and Storing AV Materials: A Basic Introduction

Report
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
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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
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In spite of some
advertisers’ claims,
AV carriers are not
permanent or
durable
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
complex
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The more complex
the system, the
more likely
something will fail
AV systems can
suffer from:
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Carrier failure
Carrier and equipment
obsolescence
Carrier and equipment
incompatibility
General Threats of
Damage/Deterioration

Chemical, mechanical or biological
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Decay of component materials
Improper playback
Careless handling
Water
Mold
Vermin
Deterioration may not be visually obvious
Handling: General Guidelines
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Minimize handling as much as possible
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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.
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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
inside
Do not leave carriers outside their
containers any longer than necessary
Train staff in proper handling techniques
Storage: General Guidelines
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Provide proper containers
Store carriers in proper orientation
Separate different types of carriers, if
possible
Keep the environment as clean, cool,
dry, and dark as possible
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IPI Media Storage: Quick Reference
(for magnetic media, film, CDs and DVDs)
http://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/shtml_sub/msqr.pdf
Containers: General Guidelines
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Sturdy construction
Made of inert materials

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Should not react with carrier materials
Prevent movement of carrier inside
container
Keep carrier in proper storage orientation
Open and close so as not to damage the
carrier
Provide protection against water or insect
damage
Prime Directive for AV Materials
Always retain originals or
designated masters after
copying.
Assistance
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
preservation
community.
Please Contact Us
Weissman Preservation Center
617-495-8596
http://preserve.harvard.edu
Jane Hedberg [email protected]
Elizabeth Walters [email protected]
Liz Coffey [email protected]

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