Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Trouble With Digitizing History

The Trouble With Digitizing History. Tina Amirtha.  Fast Company. September 11, 2015.
     Sound and Vision and two other national institutions finished digitizing the Netherlands’ audiovisual archives last year at a cost of $202 million over seven years. The project digitized 138,932 hours of film and video, 310,566 hours of audio, and 2,418,872 photos. Of these, only 2.3% of its digitized archive is publicly available online. Schools and researchers are allowed to access 15% of the archive the website while copyright concerns cover the rest.
  • "It doesn’t make sense to digitize everything. "You have ask yourself, ‘Who are you doing this for?’" Researchers may be interested in a narrow set of media, while the public may prefer a skim of the archives.
  • "Honestly, only a little bit of the funding should go towards digitization and the rest, towards digital preservation".
  • Digitization on its own won’t bring memory institutions into modernity, but the innovation will come from refining the methods used for preserving the digital files.
  • "Any new technology that better preserves and increases public access to these audio and video materials should aim to fulfill the greater mission of any national audiovisual archive: to be the "media memory" of the country."
  • "Collecting everything in one place online, it’s a very linear way of thinking."
The archivist sees an archive’s role in society changing by decentralizing the selection decisions and creating direct relationships with the creative community. "Sound and Vision has eliminated all of its curators and now trusts the community to curate its media memory. Archives need to be at the start of the creative process".

Regardless of which online content platform is used to host creative media,the important thing is for the library to continue professionally archiving today's digital recordings.

"There is no one single place that can serve the world’s creative output. The more we can collaborate, nationally and internationally, the more successful we’re going to be,"

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