”A Call for Help” – Collecting obsolete equipment and playback devices

”A Call for Help” – Collecting obsolete equipment and playback devices


It is widely known that obsolete playback devices, specifically those for magnetic media, are getting harder to find in good working condition. Declining maintenance knowledge as well as a scarce market of spare parts is also a factor that is put to play here. Neither is easily found. In late 2019 The Swedish National Archives made an appeal to the public, asking if there was someone, somewhere out there sitting on obsolete equipment, merely collecting dust and no longer of personal use, and was willing to donate it. Expecting at best a handful replies, the actual response was overwhelming and took us by complete surprise. Many wanted to help out and contribute to saving a part of our cultural heritage that was at risk of getting lost forever. This webinar will explain the background to the appeal, the difficulties of working with obsolete media and also show some actual examples of how equipment obtained through the appeal has become useful in our preservation work.


Joakim Andersson, Johan Ekdahl and Jens Kling. Archivists at The Unit for Electronic and Audiovisual Archives, The Swedish National Archives.


Please note the timezone for this webinar: it will start at 14:00 Central European Time.


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