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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

At 01:14 PM 2007-03-28, Jeffrey Kane wrote:
6 of one, half-dozen of the other. Institutions
(universities/foundations/etc) aren't constrained by the need to turn a
profit on the service. Yet, they're subject to budget vagaries and in that
way are potentially even more at risk than a commercial vendor. In any
institution; what happens if the budget is gutted and not enough funding
exists to properly maintain a storage facility?

Valid point, Jeff!

The three repositories that I have worked with for placing content are: Library-Archives Canada (Marie-Lynn Hammond's original tapes), Stanford University (the Mullin-Palmer collection originally from Jim Wheeler), and the University of Toronto (for the project I'm working on now).

None of these organizations are immune from funding shortfalls. However, the depth and quality of these three institutions have impressed me. (Disclaimer, I have recently undertaken some consulting work for Library Archives Canada so that is no longer an arms-length relationship, but it was when I placed the Marie-Lynn Hammond material there).

All three of these archives (and in the case of LAC and Stanford, they are holding physical artifacts as well as files) have selection criteria of some sort and just do not "take everything". In fact, Marie-Lynn received a tax receipt for her donation of her material to LAC, but we had to submit a proposal and have it approved before sending the material in.

I was not impressed with the storage/care at a state university, but even there, one individual rose to the occasion and migrated 7-8000 analog tapes to CD-R using a staff of volunteers. The major cost was the cost of the blank CDs.

So, I would like to understand how an organization in the commercial sector can compare to LAC, LoC, Stanford, or U of T. Another potential digital repository project that I'm discussing involves the use of the Notre Dame digital repository. Another large organization that I trust to be around for a few years.

I do agree -- and I've been saying this in my presentations for years -- digital archives do not respond well to funding interruptions. On the other hand, physical archives don't either. Imagine turning off the HVAC completely...we saw what running an economizer cycle overnight did at the state university archives. What happens if a new roof cannot be funded?



Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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