If we wish to obtain some insight into the costs of storing sound in an archive (meaning long-term storage), we do not deal exclusively with the costs of the information carrier but, rather, with the overall organisation of a sound archive. Although the costs of an information carrier in itself are not too high, the number of information carriers and the storage capacity required are important factors when determining the overall cost of an archive. The important question is, however, what is the storage cost in relation to the other “archive” costs?

In the first part of this report we concern ourselves with only one aspect of the overall costs, namely:

$ What costs are involved in information storage?

This leads to a few more questions such as “How can we define and quantify these costs?” Later in this report we will co-ordinate this with the overall archive costs.

The answer to the question “Why do we want to know?” is relevant to, for instance, the managers who will make the final and, hopefully, correct choice as to which information carrier should be used in an archive.

An important question is “What influence does the type of information carrier have on the cost of sound storage?”. It seems obvious that a smaller information carrier (such as using a R-DAT cassette in place of quarter inch tapes - the example used in this study) should provide a solution to the problem of making the best use of the available space. We have to prove, however, that this assumption is correct. In order to reach the correct decision, it is necessary that we determine the various calculation factors for sound storage and express these in a workable unit which can be the base for an accurate definition. In this way, it will be relatively simple to ascertain if the price of an information carrier is of great influence on the overall cost and if the operational qualities of that information carrier can be weighed against a cost reduction or a cost increase in the overall running cost.