Cutting Through the Magnetic Tape: Collaborative Preservation of Endangered Video

Adam Lott

MSI ’16, Information Science

My project concerns the digitization and preservation of The Saline Area Historical Society’s tape collection. Included in the collection are oral histories describing the history, life, and development of Saline, Michigan. Many local cultural institutions have video collections at high risk of degradation but lack the funds and expertise to migrate this content into a safer, more accessible format. Having experience digitizing video at archival standards, I discovered that the University of Michigan houses the tools necessary to do so. I see this project as a way of reaching out to local institutions in need of assistance and as a template for other students studying preservation to follow. There are literally millions of tapes in the wild in need of digitization and very few programs teaching preservationists how to do so. For this reason, I would like to see other students to use my project as inspiration for projects of their own.

Library Mentor: Shannon Zachary