In Q1 of 2009, Crawford LIFT was contracted to do a migration project for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, located at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The collection consisted of 2,509 programs on a wide variety of video formats including 1” C-format, U-Matic, Betacam SP, VHS, D-2 and DVC Pro.
The collection’s tapes – especially the 1” – had known mold and chemical deterioration problems. Using safe methods, Crawford inspected every tape on-site and failed tapes with excessive mold or powdery residue (binder breakdown). Clean tapes and those with minimal issues were packed and transported to Crawford’s Atlanta facility. U-Matic and Betacam SP tapes with minimal mold or residue were put in a quarantined area, flanges removed and cleaned.
Crawford derived a file naming convention based on program ID numbers and extensively expanded and updated the catalog provided by the Signal Corps so that each individual program – and its file – was properly identified and fully documented. Any information found on the tape labels that did not exist in the catalog was entered into the database. Because of the diverse provenance of the tapes and the large number of problem tapes, Crawford provided detailed notes about any issues or inconsistencies. Multiple tape formats were migrated concurrently. All programs were delivered as QuickTime-wrapped 25 Mbps Photo JPEG and Windows Media 9 files.
Crawford worked with Fort Gordon’s IT staff to provide an efficient method for file delivery. For this project, files were delivered via NAS drive arrays. The Fort Gordon project would have normally taken less than ninety days; however, because of the extensive special handling and restoration required, the project was done in five months.