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BAVC Preservation Services in San Francisco, CA


As one of the nation’s longest-standing non-profit video and audio preservation organizations, BAVC remains a leader in the field, developing the highest quality preservation standards and practices while working with individuals and cultural, academic, and media organizations to meet a range of needs for preserving historically and artistically important video and audio materials.

Established in 1994 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and in partnership with the Getty Research Center, BAVC’s Preservation program has also received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. In addition to partnering with institutions such as the Stanford Media Preservation Lab and New York University's Digital Library Technology Services on research and development projects related to archival moving image and video preservation, BAVC’s Preservation Department works with museums, artists and cultural institutions around the world to remaster, transfer, and archive seminal creative and historical works on video and audio tape. Clients and partners have included the Dance Heritage Coalition, Human Studies Film Archives of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, The Kitchen, Video Data Bank, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Fales Library at NYU Special Collections, Walker Arts Center, and San Francisco Ballet among others.

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Preservation Tools

BAVC’s Preservation program, in collaboration with other leading organizations in the field, is helping to develop open source tools that make the work of media preservation more accessible and more efficient.

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What is preservation

As audio and video technologies have changed, and as old formats age and disintegrate, we are at risk of losing significant media that documents the art, culture and history of our diverse communities. BAVC works to preserve and digitize these cultural artifacts and other precious works of media art. Since 1994, BAVC has preserved over 7,000 hours of audio and videotape.

Why preserve

Analog media preservation is necessary because of two central factors: technical obsolescence and deterioration. Experts say that magnetic media has an estimated lifespan for playback of 10-15 years, and companies have already ceased manufacture of analog playback decks, the devices required to digitize and preserve analog media.

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Interested in getting a quote on preservation services? Do you have a preservation-related question? Contact us.

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Preservation Services

Preservation Services: Assessment

BAVC provides assessment services for video and audio collections, providing content and condition appraisal and recommendations for immediate and long-term preservation planning.

Preservation Services: Transfers

BAVC rigorously maintains endangered analog equipment in order to provide high quality transfers to preservation-standard formats.  BAVC’s tape storage and transfer facility follows the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) guidelines for magnetic tape storage and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) care and handling practices for extended usage.

Preservation Services: Funding

Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) BAVC is able to provide a suite of services—including preservation planning, collection assessment tools and training, and analog-to-digital preservation transfers — to artists and arts organizations at a discounted rate based on budget size.

Preservation Services: FAQ

From technical terminology to the ins-and-outs of transfer processes, get your questions about BAVC’s preservation services answered here.