A 1960s tape recorder the size of a household fridge could be the key to unlocking valuable information from NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon.
An archiving error by NASA has meant 173 data tapes have sat in Perth for almost 40 years, holding information about lunar dust that could be vital in expanding science’s understanding of the moon. ABC News (Australia)
The NASA tapes are another example of why digital archiving is a growing field. My old school plays are mostly on Betamax video tapes; my wedding is on a 3/4 inch videotape (we have a copy in regular VHS), and I shot my own home videos on three additional formats (mini VHS-C tapes, digital video tapes, and, now, an integrated hard drive). Add to that all the informal videos I’ve snapped with my pocket digital camera, and the conversations I’ve captured with my voice recorder, and I’ve got a lot of media consolidation to do.
There’s a closet on the Humanities floor that has educational recordings (poetry readings, biographies, great speeches from the 20th century) on laser discs, casette tapes, vinyl records, and who knows what else.
At my previous school, the English department meeting room had a huge cabinet full of slides — portraits of authors, their birthplaces, scenes depicted in their works, etc. I remember using some of those slides, mostly out of guilt, since I figured if I didn’t use them, nobody else would.