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Subject: Definition of obsolete media

Definition of obsolete media

From: Jacob J. Nadal <jnadal<-a>
Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Anne E. Downey <adowney<-a t->amphilsoc< . >org> writes

>What is considered "obsolete media" in library parlance? ...

In my teaching, I've used this model to explain where preservation
and conservation interventions may be required:

    (1) Substrate (clay, paper, tape, etc)

    (2) Media (stylus marks, ink, magnetic coating, etc)

    (3) Transport (reflected light, ditto, VHS payer, etc)

    (4) Language (Hittite Cuneiform, French, English and the
    audiovisual semiotics of 1980s American music videos, etc)

That helps to target a concept like "obsolete" as problems in levels
3 and/or 4 (and "damaged" as 1 and/or 2).  Either the transport is
failing or unavailable (the VHS is obsolete, because manufacturer of
players is in decline and existing VHS decks are themselves
failing), or the language is obscure or forgotten (the file is
unreadable because it uses a file format that is no longer

Jacob Nadal
Executive Director, ReCAP and
Visiting Assistant Professor
Pratt Institute

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:45
                  Distributed: Saturday, May 17, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-45-002
Received on Monday, 12 May, 2014

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