Your Stanford story is like the Ampex Museum. Stanford appears to be a black hole, where stuff goes
to end up in a warehouse and never been accessible again. I had to pay Stanford a steep copying fee
for a single schematic from the Ampex Museum files, and it came with a warning not to redistribute
it, as if they own the copyright. The cautionary tale is this -- don't donate something to an
archive if they give vague promises about "soon" digitizing or making things accessible to the
public, if you care about public access to what you're donating. Get a timetable in writing, and be
prepared to provide or raise funds for the digitization (ie endow your donation). I suppose a black
hole warehouse is better than the landfill, but is it really?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lou Judson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 12:13 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Techs in the future - Re: [ARSCLIST] Article: Testing Old Tapes For Playability
Richard, I think this can become a very serious problem VERY soon. Are there people being trained
anywhere, who gew up after the tape era basically ended?
I helped create to 40 year archive of radio interviews trhat got sent to Stanford with a promise
that they would digitize them soon. “Soon” is now 15 years ago and no indications they will do it
soon, or ever, and they are mostly on troublesome cheap sticky tape! It is osrt of as though a life’s
work has been dumpstered!
We now “digitize” cassette copies just so we can distribute them… It’s a nonprofit so little
(Matt, replies still go only to you so I changed to the list address.)
On Sep 9, 2015, at 4:32 PM, Matt Sohn <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I think that the first failure will be the failure
> to find technicians who are familiar with the genre. I'll be in my mid
> 80s if I'm not pushing up daisies. Then there is the problem of machines
> and the people to repair the machines. Finally, the tape will fall
> apart, but, in general, tapes seem to be holding up well, even though
> many need baking.