National Technology AllianceMagnetic Tape Storage and Handling

A Guide for Libraries and Archives

Dr. John W.C. Van Bogart
National Media Laboratory
June 1995

This report from the National Media Laboratory (NML) helps clarify long-term storage requirements for magnetic media. The information is derived from the industry’s accumulated knowledge base, plus media stability studies and operations support activities conducted by the NML for the U. S. Government advanced data recording community. Clearly, the purpose and scope of long-term magnetic media storage issues for libraries and archives are different from those of many Government operations, but the basics remain the same.

The report focuses on how to properly store and care for magnetic media to maximize their life expectancies. However, it provides more than a how-to guide. The author includes technical explanations for the rationale behind recommended procedures, written specifically for librarians, historians, records managers, archivists, and others who do not have a significant background in recording technology. In addition, the report is useful for decision-making and cost-benefit analyses for managers and administrators who have responsibility for the long-term preservation of information stored on magnetic media.

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