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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in Preservation (21)


Celebrating World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2011!

I'm celebrating World Day for Audiovisual Heritage by going through the audiovisual stacks and doing a quick sniff-test survey. While we keep our stacks at a comfortable temperature for the media, some of the material was in unstable conditions before coming to the archives and needs to be monitored. Because I don't have the time to perform in-depth preservation surveys on our collections (except when processing), I've found that the sniff test does a pretty good job at detecting problems in the majority of our collections. Just recently, I discovered that some of our School of Music reels were on bad stock and were degrading. In the past year, I discovered some film from one collection that smelled fine last year is now starting to degrade. The films come from the same collection of films from which I isolated and froze 50 reels this summer.

Archivists need to be more aware of audiovisual materials in their collections, and doing quick preservation surveys are a great way to be proactive about issues. While this survey only addresses one of the many issues surrounding audiovisual media, it's definitely a start. I recommend using World Day for Audiovisual Heritage as a reminder to survey collections!


Freezer Procedures

On Monday, the consortial Preservation Advisory Committee met and among other things, we discussed the freezer procedures I have been working on. The procedures include preliminary steps to survey collection to identify what should be frozen, supply lists, packing steps, and removal procedures. The committee had a few revisions and ask for clarifications to some of the guidelines I created, but for the most part, the procedures are done!

It feels very good to put this project to bed, almost three years after the films were discovered, and to have created procedures that all member libraries can take advantage of the research and guidelines I created.


Freezing Films

Over the last year, I have been working with the WRLC Preservation Advisory Committee to develop standards and procedures to use our new shared freezers for deteriorating acetate film, negatives, and slides. As the only university with an a/v specialist, I agreed that CUA would be the experiment. I chose a collection of 50 films to be frozen, mainly because we do not have enough money to preserve them and digitize them; the films, while interesting, do not have enough national significance to merit pursuing a grant for their preservation and digitization; and they have been shelved on our receiving shelves taking up a considerable amount of room for new accessions because this is the only place I was able to separate them from other acetate collections.

In addition to working with staff at the off-site storage facility, I had to collaborate with CUA cataloging staff since we had to create a bibliographic record in our OPAC with separate item records to track the 50 films.

Last week, I took two students with me to the off-site storage facility to pack films, in accordance with the National Park Service instructional series (and the National Film Preservation Foundation guide). I hope to complete the project with a student tomorrow. Taping the bags around the round film canisters is very tedious and takes a considerable amount of time.

These films are part of a larger audiovisual series for which I will have a practicum student complete a full finding aid this fall. Once the finding aid is posted, we will try to generate interest so that potential researchers who are interested in the content can elect to pay for the preservation and digitization for us. Only the films with the most historical merit will be saved this way, and the others can remain in the freezer.


Spring Means...

It's BEDA (blog every day April) an internet tradition, so I'm going to try to make the commitment, especially since the last few months have been extremely busy for me and I've been failing to document my progress in projects. Or at the very least, I'll try to write a few entries for the days when I know I'll have no time and set them to auto-post.

The last few weeks in the Archives have been very busy. I've been working on projects for the Digitization Practice Committee, which include a consortial charter for the commitment to digitization; and an NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for the Preservation Advisory Committee, to have a preservation assessment done for our off-site storage facility, including storage module added last year, with the goal of creating a disaster and recovery plan for the shared facility. I've also attended a few online sessions from the ACRL virtual conference--Digital Library Interdependence: Building External Partnerships with Cultural Heritage Organizations; and Harnessing Your Projects: Using Project Management Techniques and Basecamp in Libraries. The project management session definitely gave me some great ideas for using software to manage digitization projects, because if I build one template, I could use it for multiple projects (and create a repeatable mass-digitization process). I also applied for THATCamp at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason for June, not that I'll get in because they're over their quota, but I can always hope. I've also been helping with a mass digitization project for art prints, which should move to the digitization phase soon. And then, of course, I have a lot of digitization requests.

In both the Digitization Practice Committee and the recent digitization project, I've been using epiware as suggested by a member of our consortial IT staff to help manage the project and documents. So far, it's pretty good! In my professional and personal life, I've been integrating the Google Calendar and Google Tasks applications into more projects and to-do lists. What's great is that I can add tasks to the Calendar, and then share that with the necessary people. I also like having my grocery list on my android phone. After the ACRL session this morning, I want to add project management software to my software experimentation list. This might help me integrate what I'm trying to do in the Google applications more thoroughly into my professional workflow, and then add them to my G Calendar.

I've also been considering a redesign of this site. It's time to integrate some of my calendars, so I can share the conferences I'm attending, and my twitter feed, since I've been more active in micro-blogging about archives. I'm also considering adding photo galleries for conferences or a/v setup diagrams.


Point 360

I saw a notice on the AMIA listserv today from Point 360, a film company, offering free film preservation surveys. Does anyone have experience with this? Does anyone know if we have to agree to preservation services after the survey?