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Is there a matchmaking service to match my legacy media with other institutions' hardware?

+2 votes
The questioner at #digpres2014 wanted to know:

If I get a one-off of a legacy media (such as an eight-inch floppy or nine-track tape), and my institution does not have the hardware to read it, where can I go?
asked Jul 23, 2014 by SpencerGoodwin (450 points)
edited Jul 23, 2014 by SpencerGoodwin

2 Answers

+1 vote

Before asking for help, I would try to gather as much information as possible about the format. Wikipedia is a great resource for this, as is the physical formats section of the Archive Team File Formats wiki.  For reference this is a list of floppy disk formats the Archive Team has documented.

Once you have enough information, the following are some good resources to ask for help. These aren't service providers, but they might be able to connect you to someone that can help.

  1. This site
  2. BitCurator
  3. Computer History Museum
  4. Hobbyist Communities
  5. Twitter

Finally, if you couldn't find a lot of information, but you do find help, contribute that information back to the community by adding information to the Format Wiki, answering your question here if you asked one, etc.

answered Jul 23, 2014 by nkrabben (1,990 points)
+1 vote

You might check Lori Emerson's Media Archeology Lab when it comes to computer media.

This institution is not a library service provider, but there are few places with such a wide ranging computer collection.

When it comes to legacy Apple Macintosh media, you should talk to Adam Rosen, his company Oakbog can do many data imaging tasks.

answered Jul 24, 2014 by despens (980 points)
Hi all, thanks Dragan for recommending the Media Archaeology Lab - we can certainly try to help anyone access data from their legacy media. Our strength is the history of personal computing and we only accept donations that still work. We also have a substantial software collection. Let me know if I can give you any more information!