Using Linux to read old tapes from Windows/Solaris/Unix
I'm given the task of trying to bring order to 30-years of old tapes with backups and dumps from several old systems. The oldest of these are most likely unreadable and will be destroyed. But we have quite a lot of cartridge-tapes of different formats that are between 5 and 15 years old that may be rescued. We have 4 different formats: Travan (Sony QTR-1), Mini Data Cartridge (3M DC 2120), Digital CompactTape (TK50-K), and some rather large cartridges (about 150x100x17mm) marked NCR 6525 525MB.
These are all produced under different operating systems like Windows and some flavours of Unix. And by different software.
I would of course have to find hardware that can read these tapes. But my rather open question are if Linux might be a good platform to try and read them? In that case which distribution? And can anybody point to some resources that can be of help in finding software and methodologies that can help in this task?