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« Association for Recorded Sound Collections Website | Main | The most exciting Monday in a while! »
Monday
Jul092012

Long Overdue Helpful Resources

Over the past month, I've received a few emails asking me about resources for various audiovisual digitization standards and workflows. Below is my response to the latest email, based on the research I have been performing to draft the UMD Libraries standards and guidelines over the past four months.

There are developing national standards for archiving audio and moving image media. A lot of the work in this area is being done at the Library of Congress, and I urge you to check out the standards that FADGI is developing: http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/audio-visual/.

You may also want to check out the huge project that the Indiana University Bloomington is undertaking on their campus: http://www.indiana.edu/~medpres/. This is a follow-up to their involvement in the Sound Directions project, which does address a lot of difficulties that institutions (primarily large academic libraries) encounter in their audio archives (though it is applicable to other institutions on a much smaller scale: http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/sounddirections/papersPresent/index.shtml.

The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives has also addressed audio digitization and archiving from a technical level in addressed audio digitization and archiving from a technical level in IASA-TC 04: http://www.iasa-web.org/audio-preservation-tc04

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) and The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers have also put forward standards, though these are usually highly technical and difficult to translate into a non-production environment.

If you need a less technical site to understand formats, I highly recommend NDIIPP's Sustainability of Digital Formats site: http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/index.shtml. The Technical Committees of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections and the Association of Moving Image Archivists have also put forward some helpful compilations of resources.

These resources primarily cover digitization and digital file standards, though Sound Directions and the newest publication from IUB, Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation, do touch on metadata. FADGI has some drafts of metadata standards, and is supposed to be putting forward standards this year.

NARA is working on in-depth technical metadata standards for moving image media: http://www.archives.gov/preservation/products/reVTMD.xsd. The Library of Congress has had theirs for a while: http://www.loc.gov/standards/amdvmd/

One thing to keep in mind is how video and audio metadata has been developed. PBCore was developed around Dublin Core metadata and is compatible with that schema. AMD and VMD from LC were designed around MODS and METS. The schema that you decide on should complement the metadata schema you already have in place, to prevent unnecessary metadata confusion and mapping.

Digital audio standards have been established between AES, ARSC, and IASA, and are now being improved upon, so we are fortunate in that.

As for capturing born-digital moving image materials, there is less publicly accessible documentation, but FADGI does have some resources. A new document was recently released concerning what is an archival format of video formats: http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/MXF_app_spec.html. Again, this is a draft, and most institutions may not be able to support the MXF/J2K format as well as .avi or .mov, but the document does give an idea as to the specifications and guidelines one should follow when creating, converting, or digitizing moving image. From my experience with records creators, establishing creation standards is essential so you don't have the favorite format and standard of whatever engineer you have on staff at the time, which is why what is in archives always varies greatly.

Lastly, I recommend checking out the Advanced Media Workflow Association for ideas about workflows: http://www.amwa.tv/. Their documents are especially helpful: http://www.amwa.tv/documents.shtml.

I am modeling our efforts on IUB's project, using many of the LC (NDIIPP and FADGI) standards. I would suggest starting there.

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