Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Safeguarding of the Audiovisual Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy

The Safeguarding of the Audiovisual Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy: IASA-TC 03, Edition 4, 2017. The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives. January 31, 2018.
     These are some notes from the latest revision of a core document for the audiovisual preservation community and provides principles and strategies for audio visual preservation. "The future of preserving digital material for the long term will be one of managing a pathway between the choices we make now and those choices we must make in the future. We must act decisively now even though we know that technological developments will not necessarily align with those choices. Though no choice is a final one, a well informed decision will consider the process for navigating to the new. Major changes in the current revision include a widening of scope to include moving image content, and a greater acknowledgement of the prevalence of file-based digital material alongside its carrier-based equivalent."

Preserving audiovisual material requires completing three related tasks:
  1. Preserving the stability and optimal readability of the physical carrier through best practices.
  2. Maintaining or renewing the technological system required to access the information.
  3. Transferring the information to other sustainably accessible, file-based formats while there is still access to the original information.
  • Audiovisual carriers are generally more vulnerable to loss of information than conventional materials due to damage caused by poor handling, poorly maintained equipment or by poor storage.
  •  market-driven obsolescence of formats means there is a finite window of opportunity for digitally preserving carrier-based content
  • efforts must be made to preserve carriers in useable condition for as long as is feasible.
  • " the preservation of the document in the long term can only be achieved by copying the contents to new carriers/systems while this remains possible."
  • "Separating the primary information from the original carrier raises the question of future authentication of the sound and images."
  • Responsible preservation of digital data requires systems and a technical infrastructure, the monitoring of the condition of files, and the existence of plans for media migration and format migration." These topics are discussed in the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model (ISO 14721) and the Trusted Digital Repositories (ISO 16363).
  • "It is strongly recommended that metadata be written according to established standards, in as consistent a fashion as possible"
  • Generally, priority should be given to those documents that are at greatest risk, through either degradation or technical obsolescence
  • "The archive must, therefore, keep itself and its employees updated with the latest scientific and technical information from the field of audiovisual archiving. This will include information concerning the extraction of both primary and secondary information from carriers, and improvements in preservation and restoration practices."

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