Fast-Forward >> The Future of Audio Visual Materials

September 7, 2012 (Online)

Do you have film? Video tapes? Cassettes? Records? Reel to Reel Tape? 8-Tracks? How is your institution working with these collections?

America is at risk for losing our recorded audio and visual heritage. As these media age, not only is there deterioration to the materials themselves but the machines that are used to play this media are rapidly becoming obsolete. Even born digital collections are facing issues dealing with the migration from original to new format.

Keynote Speaker: George Blood - A popular speaker at many conferences, George oversees George Blood Video, responsible for the digitization of historic analog and born-digital video collections, and George Blood Audio, providing recording services for classical musicians and ensembles that digitizes approximately 1,000 hours of audio collections from around the country each month. He and his staff are also active in research into workflow, best practices, metadata, authentication, and interchangeability of digital information. He has recorded or produced over 100 CDs, three of which were nominated for Grammy Awards.

The Fast Forward conference aims to bring together a group of speakers who have practical experience working with these types of collections to provide a wide view of the issues surrounding audio and visual collections. For these collections, preservation and access is an immediate concern and it is important for institutions to develop a strategy of how to deal with these collections as technology moves forward – fast!

Friday September 7, 2012
Times - all CDT Session Speaker
9:00 a.m. Preservation Overhaulin': Northwestern University Library's Digital Preservation Program for Archival Audiovisual Materials Stefan Elnabli
9:00 a.m. How Can My A/V Collection Become Relevant Again? Jennifer Eustis
9:45 a.m. Break  
10:00 a.m. Keynote: New, Old, Web, Whatever: Does anyone ever listen to any of this stuff? George Blood
10:45 a.m. Break  
11:00 a.m. Audiovisual Preservation You Can Hold On To Kimberly Peach
11:00 a.m. Reeling in Your Library's Film Materials: Identification & Care Basics Nadia Ghasedi
12 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break  
1:00 p.m. Solving Processing Problems Siobhan Hagan
1:00 p.m. Processing Audiovisual Collections: Figuring Out What You Have In Order to Provide Access and Plan Preservation Joshua Ranger
1:45 p.m. Break  
2:00 p.m. Creating Access to Oral History Collections: A Look at the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the OSU Library Juliana Nykolaisyzn
2:00 p.m. Sounds Like…?: Assessment Tools for Audio/Visual Collections Ann Marie Willer
2:45 p.m. Break  
3:00 p.m. Voices of Extremism, 1946-1980: An Extensive Audio Documentation Digitally Unveiled Patrice-Andre Prud'homme
3:00 p.m. Building a Hawaiian Music Digital Collection Website Jim Hearon

Keynote Speaker: George BloodGeorge Blood portrait, Owner, George Blood, L.P.
Session Title: New, Old, Web, Whatever: Does anyone ever listen to any of this stuff?

Session Description: In this presentation George will share some of his experiences creating recordings that are now in archives, the many ways digitization creates access to collections, and how understanding the expectations of future generations inform how we manage our collections and share our enthusiasm for the cultural record.

Bio: George Blood graduated from the University of Chicago (1983) with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory. He studied theory with Easley Blackwood (a private student of Nadia Boulanger), repertoire with Philip Gossett (Editor, critical editions of Verdi and Rossini for Casa Ricordi) and Ellen Turner Harris (now Professor of Music at MIT), and analysis with Ralph Shapey and Shulamit Ran (Pulitzer Prize winning composers), among others. He is the only student of pianist Marc-André Hamelin.

Active recording live concerts (from student recitals to opera and major symphony orchestras), since 1982 he has documented over 4,000 live events. From 1984 through 1989 he was a producer at WFMT-FM, and has recorded and edited some 600 nationally syndicated radio programs, mostly of The Philadelphia Orchestra. He has recorded or produced over 200 CDs, 3 of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards. His work can be heard on EMI, Toshiba/ EMI, New World Records, CRI, Parma, Innova, Pogus Records, Albany Records, Newport Classics and others. He was Recording Engineer for The Philadelphia Orchestra for 21 years, serving Maestros Riccardo Muti and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

George Blood, L.P. was founded as Safe Sound Archive in 1992. To this day, it continues as a repository for the thousands of recordings Mr. Blood has accumulated; and to house the recital archives of the Curtis Institute of Music and concert recordings of The Philadelphia Orchestra—which previously had been stored in an unheated warehouse and the “smoking lounge” of a local radio station.

Each month George Blood Audio and Video digitize approximately 1,000 hours of audio and video collections from around the country. Staff are active in research into workflow, best practices, metadata, authentication, and interchangeability of digital information. Mr. Blood is an active teacher and presenter at conferences, sharing these findings with members of the trade and collections managers.

Speaker: Stefan ElnabliStefan Elnabli portrait, Moving Image and Sound Preservation Specialist, Northwestern University
Session Title: Preservation Overhaulin': Northwestern University Library's Digital Preservation Program for Archival Audiovisual Materials

Session Description: In the past two years, Northwestern University Library (NUL) has been overhauling its digital preservation program for archival moving image and sound materials. NUL's Digital Collections Department in collaboration with the Preservation Department has been assessing the needs of NUL's analog film, video, and audio collections, prioritizing reformatting projects, performing in house and outsourced digitization, and working toward the development of an open source audiovisual management and delivery system to provide wide ranging access. Stefan Elnabli, Moving Image and Sound Preservation Specialist, will discuss NUL's burgeoning program for digitizing archival media by elaborating on its adoption of reformatting standards, managing digitization projects, and the challenges presented in the area of digital preservation.

Bio: Stefan Elnabli is a moving image and sound archivist. His archival work has included stints in the WNET Channel 13 Digital Archive, Anthology Film Archives, and major university libraries such as New York University and Stanford University. Currently he holds the position of Moving Image and Sound Preservation Specialist in Northwestern University Library's Digital Collections Department. He is a devoted film projectionist and VHS enthusiast.

Speaker: Jennifer M. EustisJennifer M. Eustis portrait,Catalog/Metadata Librarian, French & Francophone Studies Librarian, University of Connecticut Libraries
Session Title: How Can My A/V Collection Become Relevant Again?

Session Description: Several years ago, the University of Connecticut Libraries at Storrs decided to close its media center. When the media library was open, this unit coordinated all media reserves, maintained the collection and the video equipment, and did collection development. The media center housed all of the videos and video equipment. As a result of the move, the entire video collection was moved to two separate areas. Reserves videos were sent to our Reserves Coordinator to be shelved on the reserves shelves in circulation. The others along with the video equipment were sent to level 1 to our Learning Commons area. Collection development became solely driven by reserve requests or the occasional patron request. There was no one in charge of the video equipment except for the IT service desk, the desk responsible for our Learning Commons. Our VHS collection began collecting dust as university classrooms no longer supported VHS technology and people switched to DVD, blue ray, or streaming. The video collection became difficult to search and discover because of an inconsistent use of call numbers. In short, the collection became split, was quickly aging in terms of its content and overwhelming VHS format, and was neither easily accessible nor searchable. In response, UCL initiated the following projects: VHS replacement program, re-organization of the feature films, and DVD disk maintenance. Thus far, users have responded positively to the changes. In my presentation, I will present these projects and UCL's constant struggle to upgrade old video technology.

Bio: Jennifer Eustis is the Catalog/Metadata and French & Francophone Studies Librarian at the University of Connecticut Libraries at Storrs. She is responsible for cataloging and metadata audiovisual resources, electronic resources, and archival materials and for database maintenance in addition to her duties as liaison to the French & Francophone studies program. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of metadata standards, best practices, crosswalks, documentation, and metadata creation and maintenance. Before coming to the University of Connecticut Libraries, she was the metadata librarian at Northeastern University. She holds a M.S. from Simmons College in Library and Information Studies and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Dominican University in Ottawa, Ont.

Speaker: Nadia GhasediNadia Ghasedi portrait, Film & Media Archivist, Washington University in St. Louis
Session Title: Reeling in Your Library's Film Materials: Identification & Care Basics

Session Description: Many of us have film materials in our collections, but haven't a clue what to do with them. This workshop is for anyone and everyone who wishes to learn about the basics about this intimidating yet invaluable resource. This workshop offers tips on identifying various film formats and an overview of preservation concerns. From funding sources to vendor recommendations, participants will be provided with the information and resources needed to regain control of their film collections.
Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify a film's characteristics, such as gauge, type, and year
  • Recognize signs of deterioration
  • Handle and store film based on archival guidelines
  • Evaluate and communicate with vendors

Bio: Nadia Ghasedi, Film & Media Archivist, has worked at Washington University Libraries Film & Media Archive for over five years. Prior to her current position, she served as the Archive's Cataloging & Preservation Archivist. In addition to overseeing the Archive, Ms. Ghasedi is currently the Principal Investigator for the Eyes on the Prize Preservation Project, a four-year project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to complete the film preservation of Part 1 of the award-winning documentary series and all associated interview outtakes. She is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference, Missouri Library Association, and the Association of St. Louis Area Archivists. Ms. Ghasedi holds a MA in Information Science & Learning Technologies with an Emphasis in Library Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia; a Certificate in Film Preservation from the L. Jeffrey School of Film Preservation at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York; and a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Speaker: Siobhan C. HaganSiobhan C. Hagan portrait, Audiovisual Preservation Specialist, University of California at Los Angeles
Session Title: Solving Processing Problems

Session Description: I would like to discuss logistical issues with processing AV collections at the UCLA Library, particularly working with our Special Collections Department in creating EAD finding aids. These problems have arisen since I started in July 2011 as the library's first AV Preservation Specialist. How we have address these problems will be slightly specific to our organization, but key points will be pulled out from our experiences in order to apply what we have learned to other libraries with unique audiovisual items in their collections.

Bio: Siobhan C. Hagan obtained her B.A. in Film and Video Production from Loyola Marymount University in 2007, and her M.A. in 2010 from New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program. Her passion is working with regional archives and university libraries in preserving rare audiovisual material, particularly from organizations in her home state of Maryland and her adopted home of Los Angeles. Siobhan was hired as the UCLA Library’s first Audiovisual Preservation Specialist in July of 2011.

Speaker: Jim HearonJim Hearon portrait, Digital Media Specialist, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Session Title: Building a Hawaiian Music Digital Collection Website

Session Descripton: This session will speak to aspects of digitization, best practices for editing audio, archiving, and website content for access to a Hawaiian Music Digital Collection. This Hawaiian Music Digital Collection site is intended to show the possibilities for presenting sound, sheet music, images, and text of lyrics in an online searchable database.

Bio: Jim is a staff member at Sinclair Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and is a Digital Media Specialist. Jim holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. Jim works with digitizing and streaming audio and video at Sinclair Library and has been working with the Hawaiian Music Collection since 2008.

Speaker: Juliana NykolaiszynJuliana Nykolaiszyn portrait, Assistant Professor/Oral History Librarian, Oklahoma State University
Session Title: Creating Access to Oral History Collections: A Look at the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the OSU Library

Session Decsription: Since 2007, the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP) at the OSU Library has been actively documenting the history of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University through audio and video-recorded interviews. Careful consideration is given to what happens after interviews are completed, with a focus on creating multiple points of access to content (audio, video, transcripts, photographs, etc.). From the traditional web to social media, public radio to displays, this presentation will highlight efforts the OSU Library has employed in generating awareness and in creating access to oral history materials.

Bio: Juliana Nykolaiszyn joined the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the Oklahoma State University Library in May 2007. From interviewing narrators to processing oral history collections, Juliana’s work involves not only the creation but preservation and online access of oral histories. Her most recent research involves serving as a co-investigator documenting circus occupations in Hugo, Oklahoma as part of a 2011 Archie Green Fellowship awarded by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Speaker: Kimberly PeachKimberly Peach portrait, Web Editor, Association of Recorded Sound Collections
Session Title: Audiovisual Preservation You Can Hold On To

Session Description: The session will introduce audiovisual preservation to archivists with experience working with paper-based collections, but who are finding themselves increasingly responsible for managing audio, video, and/or film materials in their collections. This session will make use of concepts already familiar in the paper-based world to explore audiovisual preservation practices and their often intangible results.

It is my hope to contribute to the conference by sharing what I've learned from my own experience of transitioning from a ten-year career in book and paper preservation into the brave new world of audiovisual preservation. I am among a growing community of "object-oriented" preservation professionals who find themselves taking on the responsibility of caring for audio and moving image collections.

Topics will include:

  • Embedded Metadata -- how is it made? where does it go? how can I see it?
    edit it? What are it's limits?
  • Intellectual Control -- Manifestations unique to A/V; relying on poor labels/no labels; what can I ask an A/V engineer to do to help?
  • Preservation of files -- Active Management of "items" you cannot hold in your hand, let alone rehouse and shelve.
  • Preservation of the original -- similarities and differences of tape and film vs paper

Bio: Kimberly Peach earned her undergraduate degree in History with a minor in Ancient Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. After graduating from the School of Library and Information Science at Catholic University in Washington, DC, in 2008, Kim received a Certificate in Preservation Management from The Preservation Management Institute at Rutgers University.

Kim worked with paper-based collections for nearly ten years in the Binding and Collections Care Division at the Library of Congress before being selected for the 2010 IMLS Fellowship at Yale University Library. Here Kim began working more with audiovisual and digital materials and went on to join George Blood Audio and Video as Registrar for audiovisual material sent for digitization.

Later Kim worked as the Project Archivist for the American Archive Inventory Project at WXPN Public Radio in Philadelphia. Kim currently serves as Web Editor for the Association of Recorded Sound Collections and has been an active member of the American Library Association, serving as co-chair of the PARS Program, Planning, and Publications Committee from 2010-2012. Since 2008, Kim has served as a preservation consultant on the Save Our African American Treasures team of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Speaker: Patrice-Andre Prud'hommePatrice-Andre Prud'homme portrait, Head of Digital Collections, Illinois State University
Session Title: Voices of Extremism, 1946-1980: An Extensive Audio
Documentation Digitally Unveiled

Session Description: Examination of an unique collection of reel-to-reel magnetic tapes, recorded from individuals who characterized the Far Right and the Far Left movements in the United States politics from 1946 to 1980. The original audio documentation represents the work of Gordon D. Hall (1921-2001), a prominent leading expert on Twentieth-Century American political extremism.

From speeches at political rallies, lectures and interviews for the most part, a digitization workflow management was established to digitally preserve those analogs to new carrier and formats and to disseminate their content online. The digitization process required a series of steps to reformat and annotate the captured files in respect to audio digitization guidelines as well as to enhance and assure quality control of audio files within a configured storage local solution. Files include at least two segmented digital audio files per record (*.wav and *.mp3), one non-synchronized transcript (speech) per segment, and biographical documentation. Maintenance of files has been addressed and still remains an important consideration for long-term storage with maximum flexibility.

Bio: Patrice-Andre Prud'homme is the Head of Digital Collections Unit at Illinois State University. Responsible for several of the project management processes in the unit, including copyrights, metadata, design, and supervision. Also involved in the IMLS grant awarded in September 2011, which is to "explore Digital Preservation solutions appropriate for small and medium-sized college, university, and research libraries."

Speaker: Joshua Ranger, Senior Consultant, AudioVisual Preservation Solutionsportrait: Joshua Ranger
Session Title: Processing Audiovisual Collections: Figuring out what you have in order to provide access and plan preservation

Session Description: Establishing a baseline of technical knowledge about audiovisual collections (formats, materiality, run times, etc.) is a key component of the ability to provide access to the materials and/or plan for preservation and reformatting. Many organizations lack this type of information due to resource limitations, subject matter expertise limitations, and other factors that contribute to processing or cataloguing backlogs. Methods such as More Product, Less Process and copy cataloging have been developed to address these issues, but they generally focus on descriptive information (the content) or non-item level records, providing insufficient data and structure required to establish budgets, prioritization, storage needs, digitization plans, and other aspects of access and long-term preservation. This presentation will look at those important data points, methods for capture, and outcomes of collection processing. As one such approach we will look at is the Audiovisual Community Cataloguing module (AVCC), a joint development between the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and AVPS that provide a set of free tools and guidelines for efficient cataloguing, including guidelines for crowd-sourced or collaborative cataloging efforts designed to overcome backlogs.

Bio: Joshua Ranger has been consulting with AVPS since 2007 where he specializes in data analysis and communication in support of collection management, planning, and resource development with clients such as Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and Loyola Marymount University. Recent projects have included managing large scale inventories across multiple locations, analysis and conformance of legacy catalog systems, and developing new strategies for utilizing data in collection assessment. He also manages the AVPS blog. Joshua initially found/honed his love of information management in the worlds of early American literature, insurance, and the Walt Whitman Electronic Archive. He has earned MAs in Moving Image Archiving & Preservation from NYU and in American Studies from the University of Virginia, and his BA in English from the University of Oregon.

Speaker: Ann Marie WillerAnn Marie Willer portrait, Preservation Librarian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Session Title: Sounds Like…?: Assessment Tools for Audio/Visual Collections

Session Description: Do you have shelves of 78 rpms, boxes of video tapes, or canisters of film in your collection? Many institutions own a mix of audio-visual materials, and there is growing recognition that action must be taken to preserve the content on these fragile media. Reformatting takes time and money, however, and there usually isn't enough of either to "save everything." Assessing what you have in your collection is an important first step of any A/V reformatting project and will allow you to confidently select and prioritize materials for transfer and/or digitization.

An assessment will also enable you to accurately describe the physical condition of your materials, request an estimate from a vendor, and advocate for preservation actions such as rehousing and improved environmental controls. This presentation will review tools that you can use to survey and identify A/V materials and thereafter take appropriate steps to preserve their content.

Bio: Ann Marie Willer is the Preservation Librarian for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and previously held the same position at the University of North Texas. As a member of the Curation & Preservation Services department, she is responsible for maintaining the MIT Libraries’ circulating collection, reformatting audio/visual materials, preparing items for digitization, coordinating disaster response, and contributing to lifecycle management of the Libraries’ digital collections. She is Past-Chair of the Preservation & Reformatting Section of the American Library Association and Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Ann Marie holds a B.A. in Music (Southern Methodist University), an M.A. in Musicology (Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester), an M.S. in Library Science (University of North Texas), and a Graduate Certificate in Preservation Management (Rutgers).