Endangered large

Master recordings of radio broadcasts generated live but often poorly stored thereafter. Eg: Offline recordings on single LTO (Linear Tape Open) Tapes

Group: Sound and Vision

Trend: No Change

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Last update: 2018

Previous category: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within twelve months

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to address losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.


Broadcast archives of UK commercial local radio;

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of archival mandate; lack of capability of archive; lack of policy or capacity within broadcaster; small or unprofitable broadcaster; concern over intellectual property rights; overzealous rights management protection; device or software dependence; dependence on proprietary or obsolete formats; lack or loss of documentation; little use or inaccessibility; storage (typically tapes) older than warranty; lack of media refreshment plan; lack of error or integrity checking process; single copies

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Archival responsibility accepted and acted upon; replication; refreshment of media; good documentation; active in digital preservation community; trusted repository; content re-used

2019 Review

This category was reported explicitly in concern over recordings on LTO tapes. These provide between 15 and 30 years’ storage which may be less depending on usage and storage conditions. LTO1 and LTO2 which were released in 2000 and 2003 respectively are now entering the final phases of viability. Reader compatibility may be more problematic than media resilience however. Drives supporting newer releases of the format are typically only compatible within two generations and experience with the recently released LTO8 suggest that it is only backwardly compatible to one generation.  Therefore one major national archive and library has decided to expedite migration away from LTO6 which is becoming obsolete more quickly than anticipated. Through time, the risks to collections that have not been refreshed or replicated from early LTO tapes expand. Thus, the overall trend is towards greater risk when collections are not migrated. Older formats, perhaps as recently as LTO6, extinction events should be anticipated within two to five years.

Additional Jury Comments

Broadcasters may keep their own programmes but they are not being comprehensively collected or archived by memory institutions.

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