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Personal Audiovisual Collections Newsletter Issue 5, July 2014

PrestoCentre Publications
AV Digitisation and Digital Preservation TechWatch Report #02
Through the development of communities of practice during 2013, the Presto4U project has gathered information regarding the shape and scale of technical challenges faced by the audiovisual archiving community. In parallel, we have taken a deep dive into the technology supply side to gather information on products in the market today to see where research is heading that will hopefully solve the challenges that continue to exist.

This second TechWatch Report has been written by Members of PrestoCentre involved in the Presto4U project and was compiled through meetings they had with specialist technology vendors and researchers at the National Association of Broadcasters 2014 Convention (NAB). This TechWatch aims to provide audiovisual archive practitioners with a view of what is relevant, new and ‘bleeding edge’ in distinct areas of AV Digitisation and Archive technology. 

PrestoCentre's TechWatch Reports are about identifying technology trends and business issues which exist in digital AV archiving and finding a way to bring clarity in a language that is accessible to nonspecialists.

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Featured Blog
The Library of Congress and Personal Digital Archiving
By Mike Ashenfelder, Library of Congress

Digital preservation is a familiar issue among the world’s leading cultural institutions. But despite over a decade of institutional success in preserving digital files and collections, most of the general public are unaware of what digital preservation is or what personal digital archiving is or why they should care. 

Today, most people, young and old, have some sort of digital files to preserve. They need to know that their digital stuff is at risk of being lost unless they do something about it. The Library of Congress is trying to remedy that by reaching out to collaborate with public libraries and other institutions to teach the general public about personal digital archiving. The best thing that libraries can do is explain digital archiving, explain how easy it is to safely archive personal digital material, and stress the consequences of inaction: the potential loss of access to valuable digital possessions. We must also simplify our explanations in order to avoid burdening an audience with unnecessary technical detail.

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About the Personal Audiovisual Collections Community
Standards for Personal Archiving
In the previous newsletter we announced the launch of the Standard Register, which incorporates information on standards for content and metadata used across all communities involved in audiovisual digital preservation. In this register you can search for audiovisual standards relevant to digital preservation workflows. Take a look in the Standards Register and find a selection of standards most commonly used in the Personal Audiovisual Collections Community.

Go to Standards Register

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Past Events
First Successful Preservathon on Storage Solutions
On June 25 - 26 the RAI ‘Museum of Radio and Television’ (Turin, Italy) had the honour to host the first ever PrestoCentre Preservathon; The topic of this 2-days intensive workshop was "AV storage solutions". During the first day attendees worked together in small groups on a self-defined storage challenge, while on the second day a mini-conference delivered to the participants in-depth insights in current storage solutions and new developments. 

Divided into three groups, attendees to the Preservathon defined an imaginary archive, owning 6 Petabytes of heterogeneous audiovisual material, with a growth rate of 1 Petabyte per year and with a network traffic of about 1,5 Terabyte per month. The archive ideally had to guarantee 15 years preservation and access to their collections. Each group discussed all the related challenges and defined the requirements. Their archive needed to acquire a storage facility urgently and the groups had the responsibility to provide an answer on how to proceed.

The mini-conference on the second day hosted presentations and demos from various vendors, including Cambridge Imaging Systems (Ian Mottashed) on their state of the art Media Asset Management solution; Sony (Colin Thompson) about their long-term content archiving strategy; and Front Porch Digital (Guillaume Neveux) about cloud infrastructures. AV archives such as the British Film Institute (Charles Fairall), BBC (Tom Heritage), Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, (Ernst van Velzen) and RAI (Laurent Boch) shared their long experience and views on storage and procurement. Research institutions, such as the specialised University of Southampton's IT Innovation Centre (Paul Walland and Ajay Chakravarthy) presented a panel discussion on relevant R&D outputs and future technology trends.

The recordings from the mini-conference will be available online soon. Keep an eye on the PrestoCentre website for more information and upcoming Preservathons or read about announcements in the newsletters.

Watch our recorded webinars on AV digitisation and digital preservation topics
PrestoCentre produces a webinar series on diverse topics related to AV digitisation and digital preservation. Each webinar is focussed on a specific topic and hosted by experts within the field. These online events are a unique opportunity to interact with professionals and learn from their knowledge, expertise and experience. All webinars are being recorded to be played back at your convenience.

Upcoming webinars will be announced in the PrestoCentre events calendar.

Go to Recordings

Library Highlight
Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving
This publication contains a series of blog posts, compiled from The Signal, on the subject of personal digital archiving. Specifically, the topics include guidance for such things as choosing file formats and adding descriptions to digital photos; first hand accounts of working with and preserving personal collections; descriptions of outreach activities and interviews with library professionals on the subject of personal digital archiving, and many others.

There are three sections: “Personal Digital Archiving Guidance”, “Personal Reflections on Personal Digital Archiving”, and “Personal Digital Archiving Outreach”. The first section offers specific advice, with a heavy emphasis on images. Other topics include cloud preservation, genealogy, and digital legacies (e.g., what happens to your social media accounts when you die). The second part, “Personal Reflections on Personal Digital Archiving”, includes accounts by experts in the field on how they preserve their own data, as well as stories of other people’s efforts. The final part, “Personal Digital Archiving Outreach,” describes a variety of interactions between library people and their audiences. Outreach methods include talks at libraries, webinars, tables at public events, and appearances at professional conferences.

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Upcoming Events
July 24 - 26: 2014 NHF Summer Symposium â€“ The NHF Summer Symposium is a multi-disciplinary gathering devoted to the history, theory, and preservation of amateur and nontheatrical moving images. For over a decade, the Symposium has been bringing together archivists, scholars, and artists in an intimate setting for three days of viewing and discussing lesser-known, amateur, and found films.

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August 10 - 16: SAA Annual Meeting â€“ The annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, held in late summer in different cities throughout the country, includes a wide array of informative education sessions, pre-conference workshops, networking opportunities, special events, exhibits, and tours of local repositories. Geography is a principal factor in selecting potential host cities. (With a national membership, it is important for SAA to move systematically around the country, from region to region.) Other important factors include access and affordability for attendees and SAA’s commitment to diversity, social responsibility, and sustainability in all aspects of conference planning.

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The Presto4U project receives funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project will run from 1 January 2013 till 31 December 2014

PrestoCentre Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered under KvK54274427