Magnetic tape replay equipment is slowly but certainly fading out. For several magnetic audio and video tape formats, replay equipment is today effectively unfindable or unaffordable. Also the ability to repair playback devices is ever more scarce. While larger collections might still be able to help themselves with stocks and in house experience, this is not the case for many smaller or less financially privileged ones.
The ‘Working Group on Information Preservation’ part of the UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP) has now launched the Magnetic Tape Alert Project to raise awareness around this issue. Part of the project is the launch of a global survey on magnetic tape collections and the presence of playback equipment. The coordination of this survey is in the hands of IASA, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives. As many FIAT/IFTA members struggle with the same issues, FIAT/IFTA supports this initiative by calling upon its members and stakeholders to fill out the survey. Deadline for completion is 30 September 2019.
The survey is rather short and takes usually not more than 10 minutes to complete. You can fill out the survey here.