Saturday, March 12, 2016

Demystifying Digital Preservation for the Audiovisual Archiving Community

Demystifying Digital Preservation for the Audiovisual Archiving Community. Kathryn Gronsbell, Abbey Potter. The Signal. February 22, 2016.
     "The intersection of digital preservation and audiovisual archiving has reached a tipping point." Media production and use as well as the preservation strategies, including improvements in digital capture technology, adoption of file-based production workflows, digital distribution technology. storage solutions, over the past decade we have witnessed a series of transformations that fundamentally alter dominant theories and practices of moving image preservation and access.  The acceptance of digital preservation has been slower in the moving image archiving and preservation community than in other fields. Rarely are the challenges of preserving audiovisual materials discussed.  Recent proposals for audiovisual preservation include:
  • Transition to a stream-based preservation model
  • Digital preservation in practice (strategies)
  • Discussions on how to preserve (innovation and practical engagement)
  • The necessity of multi-disciplinary input for preservation
  • Transitioning from a short-term digital preservation project to a long-term program (sustainability)
Preservation in the moving image community may be slower because resources must be devoted to managing the physical collections, as well as the cost and complexity of preserving analog film/video content. "The shifting focus towards digital preservation is an opportunity to dissolve the manufactured boundary between A/V and still image (or other) content and include audiovisual specialists in broader discussions of preservation and access." There is a pressing need and collective desire to address some of the questions that digital preservation raises.  "Increasing the engagement of the analog film and video world with the digital preservation community, and vice versa, will yield tremendous benefits on both sides of the divide." Digital preservation should be understood as a core competency in the A/V archiving field and become part of a wider conversation about digital preservation across disciplines.

The AMIA organization hopes to bring together those who have limited resources or haven’t started strategically thinking about digital preservation, a place where the A/V community can learn without feeling lost in a wave of information. Hopefully this will increase the visibility of the intersection between audiovisual preservation and digital preservation continue the conversation between these two fields.

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