Do you have in your possession a Sony 1/2" Helical Scan videotape and not know how to view it? Key Records had the same problem in April 2009 when it found an old videotape in its sound library with no machine to see it on. After many searches on the Internet, Key Records learned Museum Archivist Jonathan Wise was also interested in the obscure video format. Key Records contacted the Archivist who was knowledgeable on the subject and who offered to help. He invited Key Records to bring the old videotape to his lab located at the Museum of Civilization.

We learned from Jonathan that the video format we had in our possession was one of the earliest consumer video formats to be available to the public. Lucky for us, he had one of the few remaining machines that still work today and was available to transfer the old videotape to DVD for us. After much curiosity the mystery of the old videotape's contents were revealed. The tape appeared to be a school production and contained approximately half an hour of video. The video began with people shopping at a Levis Jean store called Slack Shack and ended with people watching an episode of the TV show, "Gilligan's Island". How this tape came to be in the Key Records library it still a mystery but it now has a new home in the Museum's Vault Collection Room.

For more information, Jonathan Wise can be reached at

Video of Jonathan Wise recorded May 7th 2009 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.