Friday, September 23, 2011

Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation: Strategies and Solutions.

Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation: Strategies and Solutions." Indiana University Bloomington. September 2011. (128 page pdf.)
This excellent study is the result of a year of research and planning to address the problems an earlier report in 2009.  It looks at the preservation and conservation of audio, video, and film, including: guiding preservation principles, facility planning, prioritization, digitization methodologies, strategies for film, principles for access, technological infrastructure needs, and engagement with campus units and priorities. It is specifically for the university, but the information and recommendations are of interest to others.  Their mission is to preserve the time-based media holdings of Indiana University so that they may be accessible. They estimate their media holdings at more than 560,000 audio, video, and film objects, and nearly all on obsolete formats. And they estimate they only have a  fifteen- to twenty-year window of opportunity to digitally preserve audio and video holdings. They propose to collect rich descriptive and technical metadata to support digitization and future interpretation and management of digital content.
  • The media preservation crisis impacts every institution with media collections.
  • Because campus holdings are very large and time pressures great, even high-efficiency workflows may not preserve everything in time. 
  • Not every recording is an appropriate candidate for long-term preservation.
  • Research, instruction, curation, and public availability are core university missions supported by media preservation efforts.
  • Access is the end goal of any preservation work, and it must be developed in tandem with
    media preservation efforts.
  • Access to preserved holdings is critical to the success of the project and to the realization of its value to the campus.
  • The vision is an era characterized by a wealth of media content preserved long term and made accessible and integrated into campus research and instruction.
  • We live in a watershed moment in which acute challenges demand a coordinated effort to address dramatic technological and cultural changes in the way users access time-based media.
  • Target: high resolution audio preservation and production masters—24 bit, 96 kHz sample rate.
Some recommendations are that a 10,000-square-foot Indiana Media Preservation and Access Center is built employing 25 staff: administrators, audio and video engineers, film specialists, processing technicians, and IT support. The annual output is projected at 2-3PB of data per year with a total fifteen-year target of 39PB of data storage.  The first year of work will be focused on developing solutions to the challenges posed by legacy media. The second year will begin developing management strategies and workflows for file-based born digital recordings.

Their guiding principles include: Curatorial Responsibility; Standards and Best Practices; Online Accessibility; Description Services; usability of metadata; copyright strategies; Access Digitizing and Preservation. Their efforts need to be combined into a trusted digital repository.  "Preservation metadata requirements need to be defined, and tools need to be developed to support audio and video preservation package validation, technical metadata capture, and repository ingest."

This is a long study but is well worth the time to read all the way through it.   This university link also includes other related materials, such as the media preservation survey, and a brochure "Our History is at Risk".

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