Nine Things To Consider When Assessing Cloud Storage

20 February 2014

When evaluating cloud storage providers, it is dangerous to assume such services are only storage and therefore uncomplicated or that requirements for storage are obvious and therefore inherently met by the service provider. Experience with any technology selection will prove the opposite.

No two services are the same and the variance between services often represents the difference between successful implementation and a failed initiative. Never purchase a service without proper vetting; uninformed decisions risk loss of time, money, and even assets. These nine assessment criteria will help you get started in asking the right questions and making a practical, informed decision on using cloud storage for archival or preservation needs.

Quantifying The Need: A Survey Of Existing Sound Recordings In Collections In The United States

2 January 2014

In 2014, AVP and the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, undertook an in-depth, multi-faceted assessment to quantify the existing audio items held in institutional collections throughout the United States. This was performed in response to The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan and its call for the appraisal of collections, as well as to establish a foundation for articulating the current preservation need of sound recordings in collections nationwide.

Our goal was to acquire enough trustworthy data to be able to answer questions such as “How many sound recordings exist in broadcast organizations across the US?” or “How many sound recordings exist in archives throughout the US?” Moreover, we wanted to answer more complex questions such as “How many of such items are preservation-worthy?” or “How many have already been digitized?” Prioritization for digitization is as critical as both funding and timeliness. The foundation for action on all three of these fronts is trustworthy quantitative data. This paper aims to provide such data along with supporting information about the methodologies used in its generation.

Recovering The Collection, Establishing The Archive

2 May 2013

When “Superstorm” Sandy swept through the New York City region it left unforeseen levels of flooding and damage in its wake in areas such as Red Hook, The Rockaways, and the Chelsea Gallery District. Though prepared for anticipated levels of flooding, Eyebeam Art+Technology Center ended up with three feet of water on the ground floor of its space. Amongst the damage was the majority of Eyebeam’s media archive: 15 years of videotape and computer disks containing artworks, documentation of events, and even server backups—essentially, Eyebeam’s entire legacy.

This case study shares Eyebeam’s experience responding to the disaster in the hope that it will be of benefit as organizations consider preparing for future events. It is a reminder to archives, caretakers, curators, stewards, and others responsible preservation of content that our work on disaster preparedness is not, and never will be, done.

Insuring Media Archives & Leveraging Data Management As A Risk Reduction Solution

1 November 2012

Creating item level records for archival media collections is seen as a high-cost investment, but it may help save costs and efforts in the long run, especially in the event of a major loss due to disaster.

What’s Your Product? Assessing The Suitability Of A More Product, Less Process Methodology For Processing Audiovisual Collections

1 August 2012

The widely referenced and adopted More Product, Less Process methodology (MPLP) represents a much-needed evolution in the manner of processing archival collections in order to overcome backlogs and resource shortfalls that institutions face. In the case of audiovisual-based collections, however, the ability to plan budgets, timelines, equipment needs, and other preservation plans that unequivocally impact access is directly tied to the documentation of some degree of item-level knowledge about one’s collection.

This paper proposes an extension of the MPLP model which is necessitated to properly address the particular needs of audiovisual and other complex media in a way that properly meets archival standards and that assists the archivist in generating their true product: the provision of the three basic services of Findability, Access, and Sustainability regardless of the format, the content, or the tools used.

FADGI Audio-Visual Working Group Guidelines: Audio Digitization System Performance

6 May 2011

The Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative is a governmental interagency activity that draws participants from the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Libraries of Medicine and Agriculture, Voice of America, and several other interested agencies.

The initiative is divided into two parts: the Still Image Working Group and the Audio-Visual Working GroupChris Lacinak has drafted the initial report on the Audio-Visual Working Group’s efforts to evaluate audio digitization systems and develop performance metrics in order to set guidelines and evaluative measurements for conducting and monitoring digitization activities.

Barcode Scanners, MiniDV Decks, And The Migration Of Digital Information From Analog Surfaces

28 October 2010

Dave Rice and Stefan Elnabli – October 28, 2010

Due to the susceptibility and challenges of both digital and analog carriers, data must be periodically moved from one carrier to another within a preservation process. When analog data is migrated from its original carrier to a new digital carrier, the analog data is ultimately transformed through the process of sampling. Challenges are then posed to authenticating the accuracy of such a migration. Despite the perceptual exactness of an analog source to its digital copy, the analog data and the digital data are never exactly the same. However, in the realm of file-based digital-to-digital migration, exactness can be achieved and evaluated. Within the entirely file-based environment, checksums and data comparison tools can verify that two copies are exact matches or reveal their deviation in a way that is not feasible between analog and digital environments.

Embedded Metadata In WAVE Files: A Look Inside Issues And Tools

8 May 2010

Embedded metadata is a key component of managing digital files, providing information on the correct presentation, file source, rights, and other information which supports findability, access, authentication, preservation, and more.

This paper discusses the concept and uses of embedded metadata in general, and then looks more specifically at its use in WAVE audio files, focusing on the efforts of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) to develop recommendations on embedding metadata in audio files created by government agencies. This project resulted in the development of BWF MetaEdit, a tool which allows users to view, edit, and create embedded metadata in WAVE files.

A Primer On Codecs For Moving Image And Sound Archives

8 April 2010

10 Recommendations for Codec Selection and Management

The increasing number of digital objects under our guardianship as archivists will require a greater convergence between IT and archival knowledge sets in order to develop effective preservation strategies. One area of great concern for the integrity and persistence of digital audio and video files is the selection of file formats and codecs…Though this is also an area where there is a great lack of certainty and clarity on the issue.

This paper by Chris Lacinak lays out a clear explanation of what codecs are, how they are used, and what their selection and application means to archives. Also provided are 10 recommendations that will help you in the selection and management of codecs in an archival setting.

Digital Audio Interstitial Errors: Raising Awareness And Developing New Methodologies For Detection

6 January 2010

AVPS is involved in leading parallel projects within the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative and the Audio Engineering Society on the development of new standards and tools for performance testing of digital audio systems. As part of this work AVPS is proposing a Comparative Analysis tool which departs from existing error detection tools and is particularly well suited to identifying a particular type of error, labeled here as interstitial errors. This paper by Chris Lacinak uncovers one type of error that can occur and discusses the theory behind the comparative analysis methodology and approach to the development of new tools for test and measurement.

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