How should my old family videos be stored?

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Posted by Conservation Answers(Questions:33:Answers28)
Answered On 28 January, 2014 4:25 am

Heat and humidity are the two greatest enemies of videotape. The recommended storage conditions for videotape are 18°C-24°C with a relative humidity of between 35 per cent and 45 per cent i.e. an even temperature with low humidity. Satisfying these conditions in a typical domestic environment is difficult. However, in a building with two or more levels, the lower or mid floors are generally cooler than the top floor.

Storage places to be avoided include:

directly on concrete floors (susceptible to spills and water damage and high humidity)
attics or cellars (high temperatures and high humidities)
adjacent to bathrooms and laundries, or other areas where steam water is found
next to the VCR in an enclosed cabinet (high temperatures)
You should always return the tapes to their containers when you have finished using them and store the containers in an upright position. Storing the containers this way helps prevent damage to the edge of the tape. If several containers are stacked horizontally on top of each other the plastic cassettes can warp and the VCR may not accept the tape.

It is also a good idea to spool tapes at low speed or play from start to finish before storage as this will ensure that the tape is correctly wound inside the cassette.

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