Typically, when we talk about preserving something in an archive we are looking at a time period of 100 years, if not longer. The New York City Municipal Archives still holds, for example, records of the Dutch colonial settlement in New Amsterdam that date from the 17th century. Thanks to the work of dozens of skilled archivists and conservators, over decades, these documents have been and will continue to be preserved and made available to the public.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Archives’ video tape collections. It is likely that every tape in the world will become unusable within the next 20-30 years.