History Project Report, 2006-09-20
Irv Joel, Leader
As you probably know, we have so far recorded some 117 Oral
Histories, as listed here
) . These are video + sound recordings on some 150 original Hi8
digital video cassette tapes, now stored at John Chester's office
in High Bridge, New Jersey.
Our major concern at this time is the lack of backup copies and an
appropriate storage place.John Chester is now making one backup
copy of each tape onto mini-DV video cassettes:
Number of Oral History interview video cassettes: 150
Backup copies made to date: 76
Remaining tapes needing backup: 74
Blank DV cassettes on hand: 30 -- need to buy more.
So about half of the master tapes have been copied so far, and we
all to be done by 2007-06. We are still looking for an appropriate
storage place for the backup set.
There are lots of other AES tapes which were not created by the Oral
History Project. For example, John also has 135 other Hi8
which are various convention events, "When Vinyl Ruled" presentations,
etc. He does not have a detailed inventory of these tapes
there are AES tapes elsewhere, including probably in the boxes put into
storage by AES HQ, which we plan to inventory Real Soon Now. John won't
have time in the near future to back up any of these additional tapes
-- perhaps they should just be inventoried and put into archival
The originals should be in secure climate-controlled storage.
A related question is where to store the working copies.
We also believe that it would be useful to also make DVD copies
of the original interviews: Sony sells a stand-alone DVD recorder
which could be used to create a DVD copy at the same time as the
backup tape copy. The backup tape copy is a digital clone of the
original tape, so the backup can be used as a working copy with
no quality loss.
The DVD copy will be via analog video. DVD uses a different codec
at about 1/3 the bit rate of DV tape, so even a digital copy to
DVD will not be as good as the original tape. If possible, editing
should be done from the DV tape copy, not from the DVD. However, if we
use archival grade DVD's, the life expectancy is much longer than DV
tape, and the DVD's life expectancy will not be greatly compromised by
storage in a normal office environment.
Cost of DVD copying:
Sony DVD recorder 220 $.
DVD blanks (archival grade, with storage envelopes)
currently about 2.00 $ each.
If we purchase the recorder and 100 disks on this
year's budget: 420 $.
And of course additional volunteer time to handle and organize
the additional copies will slightly slow down the backup process.
Altho we have been trying to get these interviews edited for release to
the public, we have had difficulty finding volunteer editors, and only
two have been edited so far.
Jay asked Richard Hess about a storage place. He recommends
professional storage such as "Hollywood
Vaults", http://www.hollywoodvaults.com/ (works fine with
Internet Explorer; seems to hang with Firefox). 85 $/mo to store
300 mini DV tapes. We are following up this and other possibilities.
A Hi8 cassette is larger than a mini-DV cassette, but the 150 Oral
History cassettes will fit into the 85 $ per month vault (1 cubic
foot). If we add the other 135 original cassettes, then we need the 100
$ per month vault (2 cubic feet).