The Verge: The Internet Archive’s VHS Vault will send you on a 90s nostalgia trip

The Verge: The Internet Archive’s VHS Vault will send you on a 90s nostalgia trip. “The Internet Archive, perhaps best known for the extremely handy Wayback Machine you can use to find older versions of webpages, also has free movies, books, software, and music. Yet a little known part of the organization’s media trove includes uploaded recordings from VHS tapes, as I learned today thanks to this Vice article. They live on The VHS Vault, and as of this writing, there are more than 20,000 recordings you can peruse.”

Internet Archive: 71,716 video tapes in 12,094 days

Internet Archive: 71,716 video tapes in 12,094 days. “On November 4, 1979 Marion Stokes began systematically video taping television news and continued for more than 33 years, until the day she died. The Internet Archive is now home to the unique 71k+ video cassette collection and is endeavoring to help make sure it is digitized and made available online to everyone, forever, for free.”

The Outline: The woman who recorded 70,000 VHS tapes of… news

The Outline: The woman who recorded 70,000 VHS tapes of… news. “In December 2013, the Internet Archive, a non-profit in San Francisco committed to creating a free digital library, received 70,000 VHS tapes comprising a treasure trove of televised news. Apart from coverage of historical events like 9/11, the tapes contained quirky local stories that never commanded particular attention beyond the day they aired. They all came from a single source: Marion Stokes, a Philadelphia woman who began recording the news during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979, and didn’t stop until her death in 2012.”

For Sale: This Massive, Obsessive and (Probably) Obsolete VHS Boxing Archive (New York Times)

New York Times: For Sale: This Massive, Obsessive and (Probably) Obsolete VHS Boxing Archive. “There’s a small apartment on 137th Street in Hamilton Heights that contains one of the most peculiar videotape collections in New York. The dusty VHS archive fills a vast library that contains the analog history of a sport: 8,000 cassettes with recordings of over 55,000 boxing matches that span 40 years.”

Motherboard: This Guy Is Digitizing the VHS History of Video Games

Motherboard: This Guy Is Digitizing the VHS History of Video Games. “In the 80s and 90s, video game companies and trade magazines made [VHS] tapes to accompany popular titles or new issues with bonus material or promotional footage, giving a glimpse into how marketing for games was done in the industry’s early days. [Chris] Scullion has 18 tapes to upload so far, and plans to provide accompanying commentary as well as the raw video as they go up on his YouTube channel.”

NPR: Videotapes Are Becoming Unwatchable As Archivists Work To Save Them

NPR: Videotapes Are Becoming Unwatchable As Archivists Work To Save Them. “[Mary] Kidd and the others are archivists and preservationists, and they’re part of a group called XFR Collective (pronounced Transfer Collective). Most work professionally, but they volunteer their free time to do this. And while the mood is light, there is a sense of a deadline…. That’s because research suggests that tapes like this aren’t going to live beyond 15 to 20 years. Some call this the ‘magnetic media crisis,’ and archivists, preservationists, and librarians like the ones in the XFR Collective are trying to reverse it.”

The Atlantic: Yale’s Project to Preserve Movies on VHS

The Atlantic has a fascinating article on preserving movies in VHS format. “VHS is a maligned medium. Libraries are rapidly culling it from their collections, a project in Ontario, Canada, wants to recycle the province’s 2.26 billion tapes, and the rise of digital streaming has made it mostly irrelevant to the general public. It’s often described as obsolete, even by those charged with preserving America’s cultural heritage. One reason Yale bought this video collection was to preserve rare titles—it’s been estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of content distributed on VHS never made its way into any subsequent digital format. But the primary focus of this collection effort was the physical nature of the medium and the cultures it changed and created.”