How To Take Care Of Your Audio-Visual Collections

I find that the audio-visual collections are the best memento from old theatre times. Through it, we can see the actual movements and hear the sounds as if we are watching it in person. There are even technology that can remaster the videos or even show the colors even from the black and white format.

You should put importance on the storage of your audio-visual collections. Keep them in plastic containers that do not contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC). You should also store them away from places that could make it wet or damp to avoid molds. Also, you should be wary of pests that can harbor in your collection. We have been using Columbus Pest Control services in our home, and it helps us a great deal in keeping pests away.

Now, we have digital libraries to preserve important video recording of events. However, we still need to continue protecting the material from older collections for future generations. The media used to play the audio-visual record may oftentimes be obsolete so you should consider preserving the player. This might not be practical for some reason so it will also be a good idea to convert the format of the audio-visual collection to the current format such as digital.

There are commercial companies that specializes in archival that can convert the format of your audio-visual collections. You may browse through the internet or refer to the New York Times article on Tips on Archiving Family History.

Audio-Visual Collections come in various range of formats such as optical discs, films, records, tapes. They consist of materials such as plastics, metals, and wax. The best way to take care of these objects is through proper care and storage. Here are the basic care instructions to keep your audio-visual collections in tip-top shape.


  • Wash your hands and ensure they are completely dry before handling the materials
  • Never touch the surface of the materials. You should only handle them on the sides or the plastic or metal reels.
  • Do not play the material right away especially if it came from cool storage. Wait a few minutes so that it can cool down to room temperature to avoid moisture buildup.


  • Always store the materials in an upright position. 
  • Keep the similar materials together. Putting different size materials together may result in uneven storage.
  • Do not rewind the tapes after viewing. Just rewind it when you watch it next time.
  • Ensure that the shelving is sturdy and could carry the weight of the items stored.
  • Store your materials are stored in a cool and dry place. Keep it away from direct light and vibrations.
  • Have a regular schedule to check the materials to ensure that there are no molds or dust accumulation.

You also need to consider hiring a professional cleaner for your audio-visual collections. The collection cannot be replaced once it damaged from improper use or cleaning so it will be wise to seek the help of the professionals in doing this important task.


Author: wpadmin