Magnetic Tape Alert Project: a project by IFAP

Today’s knowledge of the linguistic and cultural diversity of humanity is widely based on magnetic tape recordings produced over the past 60 years. Magnetic audio and video tape formats are now obsolete, and the replay equipment is fading out. The only way to preserve these sounds and images in the long term, and to keep them accessible for future generations, is their digitisation and transfer to safe digital repositories. A great part of audio and video recordings are still in their original state, kept in small academic or cultural institutions, or in private hands.

The Information for All Programme (IFAP) Working Group on Information Preservation is circulating a survey on collections at risk that will serve as a basis for the planning of adequate solutions for the safeguarding of these irreplaceable original documents in the long-term. Information gathered will be kept on the IASA website and will be used to compile a report that will be made publicly available. Names and addresses will be disclosed publicly only with permission.

With the Magnetic Tape Alert Project, the Information for All Programme (IFAP) of UNESCO, in cooperation with IASA, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, intends to alert stakeholders of the imminent threat of losing access to their audiovisual documents. Part of this is to conduct a survey of existing audiovisual documents on magnetic tape that are not yet digitally preserved. The survey focusses on unique recordings rather than copies.
The deadline for completion has been extended to 31 May 2020.

You can find the survey at:

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