Preservation refers to the overall process by which the content of an item is saved and its long-term viability is ensured. With respect to installation art, the preservation assessment of all distinct components that make up an installation artwork should be done concurrently in order to maintain, as best as possible, the authenticity of the original piece. Thorough documentation of the original will inform your preservation methodology and process. This section will address the specific preservation needs of the moving-image component in these works-priorities and actions for magnetic tape and born-digital media are addressed separately.

Archival Formats

The preservation process involves migration, or duplicating videotape to a new, archival format in order to keep the content accessible in the long term.

Working In-House vs. Outsourcing

Some organizations have found that investing in an in-house cleaning and reformatting program can save time and resources over the long term. Many organizations, however, outsource such work to trusted vendors. Once you have selected tapes to preserve, call several vendors to compare estimates based on the format, length, and condition of each tape. Keep in mind that pricing can change once a vendor assesses materials in person.