Tutorial: Conservation of analogue AV content

Conservation is a vital part of all preservation strategies. Even if the next step in a preservation plan is a transfer to new media, there has to be something – ideally in pristine condition – to be transferred. Digitisation and transfer processes actually occupy a tiny proportion of the lifetime of an object. For the majority of the time, the main issue is conservation.

Conservation can be defined as the preservation of an object using all effective means to keep the object in its original state (or as close as possible) for as long as possible.

When planning for conservation, there are several key factors that should be taken into account, all having to do with the physical object. The work undertaken should be documented as well as possible to keep track of the history of the object.

This tutorial focuses on the steps involved in the conservation of analog media, including storage and environmental requirements. The six page tutorial ends with a listing of the major international standards for audiovisual conservation.