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Tuesday, October 1 • 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Audiovisual archives inside science museums: A survey on management and conservation

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This paper explores some of the main issues and current trends on the management of science museums’ audiovisual archives, and presents the results of my Master’s dissertation in Science for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage that has been carried on in collaboration with Milan’s Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci.
As a restorer, I decided to focus on the issues concerning the long-term preservation of magnetic and optical carriers. They are part of our cultural heritage but have yet to gain an archival and historical value, compared to more traditional media like paper documents or cinematographic films. Furthermore, the great variety of carriers and formats that have been introduced in the last few decades have led to a great uncertainty in the management and conservation of this unconventional kind of media.
The mission of science museums is to preserve our heritage and to record the evolution of technology. Therefore, it is important not only to digitise data, but to ensure the preservation of original carriers and recording technologies as well.
The conclusions of this paper are based on a survey conducted during my research, involving various institutions in Italy and abroad. The survey focused on issues such as the size and importance of every audiovisual archive, access and digitisation strategies, types of carriers and playback technologies, tape and disc degradation, storage conditions. By comparing the results of the survey and the literature on the topic, guidelines on the management and preservation of audiovisual documents inside science museums are presented.

avatar for Isabella Otto

Isabella Otto

Restorer and conservation scientist

Tuesday October 1, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm BST
BenGLab 1