The Auburn University Libraries preserve history, traditions, stories, memories and experiences that the Auburn Family holds dear. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Auburn University produced hundreds of hours of video from around campus. These tapes, now held in Auburn University Archives, contain raw and finished footage that captures Auburn research, teaching, student life, sporting events, campus, leaders, and landmarks in great detail.
These valuable tapes were recorded on a video format called U-Matic—an analog recording videocassette format from the late ‘60s. It was among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette. U-Matic was great for video productions, but U-Matic machines are now very rare to find and difficult to maintain. At one time the only way to watch these videos was to physically come to Auburn to listen to them in the library, but even that was lost when Auburn University Libraries retired its equipment to play U-Matic tapes.
As U-Matic tapes continue to degrade with time, we are threatened with the loss of their irreplaceable media.
Digital has become the standard for data storage. Digitizing older, analog media so that it can be both readily shared by students, faculty, and the Auburn Family worldwide today and preserved for future generations tomorrow, is a high priority for Auburn University Libraries.
Auburn University Archives holds hundreds of these videocassettes in our collections, but we have only been able to digitize a small number so far. The first of these newly digitized tapes are now available for students, alumni, patrons, and casual listeners free online. We want to save our tapes and expand our digital collections.
This Tiger Giving Day, Auburn University Libraries is asking for your support, so that we can digitize 200+ of these tapes before they are lost forever. Once digitized, the files will be uploaded to our online archive for anyone in the world with an internet connection to view.
Moving these items to digital collections gives the global Auburn Family access to this historical material from the comfort of their homes, residence halls, or classrooms.
Join us in making Auburn history digital this Tiger Giving Day!