Library VHS in Danger: Media Preservation in Academic Libraries




Preserving content is a foundational activity of libraries and an activity for which U.S. copyright law makes an exception. This paper studies preservation activities among academic libraries as reported through the literature and recorded in answer to a survey of Research 1 institutions in the United States. Trends, challenges, methods, and procedures are examined to create a robust picture of VHS preservation activity among academic libraries especially in reference to section 108 of U.S. copyright law.

Author Biography

LeEtta Schmidt, University of South Florida, Tampa Library

LeEtta M. Schmidt is the Copyright and Intellectual Property Librarian at the USF Tampa library, and the Editor of the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery, & Electronic Reserve.


American Experience. (n.d.). FAQs. Retrieved on February 20, 2015 from

Association of Research Libraries. (2012). Code of best practices in fair use for academic and research libraries. Retrieved from

Beh, E., & Smith, J. (2012). Preserving the scholarly collection: An examination of the perpetual access clauses in the Texas A&M University Libraries’ major e-journal licenses. Serials Review, 38, 235–242.

Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. (2017). Basic classification description. Retrieved from

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. Commercial Products Committee. (2014). Streaming video in academic libraries [White paper]. Retrieved from

Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. §§ 107–108 (2011)

Crews, K. (2001). Digital libraries and the application of Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act. Retrieved from

Cross, W. M. (2012). Restoring the public library ethos: Copyright, e-licensing, and the future of librarianship. Law Library Journal, 104(2), 195–217. Retrieved from

De Stefano, P., Tarr, K., Buchman, M., Oleksik, P., Moscoso, A., & Moskowitz, B. (2013). Digitizing video for long-term preservation: An RFP guide and template. Retrieved from

Eng, S., & Hernandez, F. (2006) Managing streaming video: A new role for technical services. Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services, 30(3–4), 214–223.

Enis, M. (2016). Please rewind. Library Journal, 141(10), 45–47. Retrieved from

Cinema Studies (n.d.) Video at Risk: Strategies for preserving commercial video collections in research libraries. Retrieved from:

Frontline. (n.d.). FAQs. Retrieved on February 20, 2015 from

Forgas, L. (1997). The preservation of videotape: Review and implications for libraries and archives. Libri, 47(1), 43–56.

Forsberg, W., Tarr, K., & Besser, H. (2016). Video at Risk: Strategies for preserving commercial video collections in research libraries. Retrieved from

Gary, D. (2015, August 21). Saving the scream queens: Why Yale University Library decided to preserve nearly 3,000 horror and exploitational movies on VHS. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

King, R. (2014) House of cards: The academic library media center in the era of streaming video. Serials Librarian, 67(3), 289–306.

Kastellec, M. (2012) Practical limits to the scope of digital preservation. Information Technology & Libraries, 31(2), 63–71.

Klinefelter, A. (2001). Copyright and electronic library resources: An overview of how the law is affecting traditional library services. Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 19(3/4), 175.

Laskowski, M. (2003). Faculty and instructor use of media in the classroom: Results of two surveys. College and University Media Review, 9(1), 73–95.

Leahy, S. (2015). Faculty uses and perceptions of video in higher education online courses (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Michigan State University

Libraries Digital Repository.

Moghaddam, G. G. (2007). Archiving challenges of scholarly electronic journals: How do publishers manage them? Serials Review, 33(2), 81–90. Retrieved from

Morris, S., & Currie, L. (2016). To stream or not to stream? New Library World, 117(7/8), 485–498.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Library statistics program: Compare academic libraries [data set]. Retrieved from

Otto, J. J. (2014). University faculty describe their use of moving images in teaching and learning and their perceptions of the library's role in that use. College and Research Libraries, 75(2).

Rodgers, W. (2018). Buy, borrow, or steal? Film access for film studies students. College and Research Libraries, 79(4).

Russell, C. (2010) The best of copyright and VideoLib. Library Trends, 58(3), 349–357. https://doi:10.1353/lib.0.0095

Schroeder, R., & Williamsen, J. (2011). Streaming video: The collaborative convergence of technical services, collection development, and information technology in the academic library. Collection Management, 36(2), 89–106.

Spicer, S., & Horbal, A. (2017). The future of video playback capability in college and university classrooms. College & Research Libraries, 78(5), 706–722.

Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act, 17 U.S.C. § 110(2) (2011).

Teper, T. (2005). Current and emerging challenges for the future of library archival preservation. Library Resources and Technical Services, 49(1), 32–39. Retrieved from

Video at Risk. (2012) Copyright Guidelines. Video at Risk: Strategies for preserving commercial video collections in research libraries. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Schmidt, L. (2019). Library VHS in Danger: Media Preservation in Academic Libraries. Journal of Copyright in Education &Amp; Librarianship, 3(1).