New Guides on the Website

Today we published three new guides that will help staff at participating stations navigate the Archival Management System (AMS), view records in the AMS, and edit descriptions for digitized media. The guides include:

  • Using the AMS for the first time: this guide provides an overview of the functionality of the AMS and helps users navigate it to find the records they are looking for
  • Viewing records in the AMS: this guide describes the differences between the asset metadata and instantiation (copy) metadata and how to locate each type of information within a record
  • Editing records in the AMS: here you can find instructions for editing records, as well as suggestions and examples on how to enhance the descriptions of your stations’ digitized media

You can also find links to all of the guides here: http://americanarchive.org/guides/.

This post was written by Casey Davis, American Archive Project Manager at WGBH.

PBCore is Back in Action!

PBCore is back in action! As part of the American Archive initiative, WGBH in collaboration with the Library of Congress has been charged with further developing PBCore (Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary). The goals of the project are to:

  • Strategize direction for the PBCore schema
  • Improve the PBCore website
  • Solicit submissions from the public
  • Vote on submissions to improve PBCore
  • Develop resources and provide learning opportunities for organizations interested in using PBCore
  • Encourage and support the use of the standard

As the work progresses in the next few months, you’ll be seeing a lot of changes to the PBCore website and a lot of activity on the PBCore blog. So stay tuned for a new and improved website, schema, and a variety of new resources that will help your organization adopt and use PBCore!

The project is being coordinated the American Archive of Public Broadcasting project team. To form the PBCore Advisory Subcommittee, WGBH’s Project Manager Casey Davis reached out to public media stakeholders from universities, archives, and industry to assemble a group of 42 people, who will work in four groups:

Website  (http://pbcore.org/)

  • Review the PBCore website and other standards websites
  • Identify ways in which the website can be improved and become more user-friendly
  • Review existing record examples and create new examples for the website

Schema Development

  • Gather input from the PBCore Advisory Subcommittee for ideas on schema improvement
  • Consider suggestions provided by the community
  • Develop and implement revisions to the schema
  • Explore opportunities for EBUCore harmonization and RDF implementation

Communications

  • Create the PBCore newsletter
  • Provide updates to organizations and listservs
  • Gather schema development submissions from the public
  • Implement a strategy for communication and outreach to adopters and potential adopters
  • Manage the PBCore blog (http://pbcoreresources.org/)

Education

  • Create, communicate, and disseminate effective learning opportunities for PBCore adopters and potential adopters
  • Develop resources that will be shared on the blog and website, ie FAQs
  • Create instructional videos and conduct webinars
  • Strategize other opportunities for teaching the standard

We’re proud to have such a professionally diverse group of contributors to the project. Members include:

Steering Team
Jack Brighton, Illinois Public Media
Karen Cariani, WGBH
Casey E. Davis, WGBH
Dave MacCarn, WGBH
Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve
Lauren Sorensen, Library of Congress
Anne Wootton, PopUp Archive

Education
Chair: Anne Wootton, PopUp Archive
Caitlin Birch, Frontline | WGBH
Jessica Bitely, Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Kevin Carter, WGBH
Nick Connizzo, George Washington University
Jeremy Meserve, Belmont Media Center
Bill Nehring, Simmons College | MLIS Candidate
Nancy Watrous, Chicago Film Archive

Schema Development
Chair: Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve
Margaret Bresnahan, Minnesota Public Radio
Glenn Clatworthy, PBS
Tom Davenport, Folkstreams
Glynn Edwards, Stanford University
Jean-pierre Evain, EBUCore
Leigh Grinstead, LYRASIS
Jimi Jones, Hampshire College
Steve Knoblock, Folksreams
Devon Landes, HBO
Andrea Leigh, Library of Congress
Dave MacCarn, WGBH
Mary Miller, Peabody Awards
John Passmore, WNYC-FM
Allison Smith, Wisconsin Public Radio
Adam Wead, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Leah Weisse, WGBH

Website
Chair: Lauren Sorensen, Library of Congress
Jolene Beiser, Pacifica Radio Archives
Ashley Blewer, University of South Carolina
Nestor Cordova, University of Texas
Jeff Eastman, IMF
Ryan Edge, University of Illinois
Andrew Myers, WGBH
Alexander Papson, University of Notre Dame
Dave Rice, City University of New York
Deanna Ulvestad, Greene County Public Library
Anne Wilkens, Wisconsin Public Television

Communications
Chair: Jack Brighton, Illinois Public Media
Casey Davis, WGBH
Karma Foley, Smithsonian Channel
Bailey Smith, PopUp Archive
Jenny Swadosh, New School

There’s a lot of work to do, and we need your help to make this happen. We want to see PBCore in the wild. How do you use PBCore? What challenges do you have? Let us know in the comment section here or by email, and let’s make PBCore better together.

This post was written by Bailey Smith, Co-founder of PopUp Archive and PBCore Communications Team Secretary.

Managing and Preserving Your Born-Digital Files

Over the past couple of months, the American Archive project team has been working with stations to contribute born-digital or previously digitized files to the American Archive. That is, the types of material we are now gathering for submission into the archive already exist on file-based media, such as Quicktime video files or .wav audio files. During the Content Inventory project, stations created inventory records for the tangible, physical media. As we have been reaching out to stations regarding born-digital, new questions arise:

  • How do we record information, or metadata, about the digital files?
  • What different types of information need to be captured?
  • What are the best practices for creating, naming, organizing, and storing digital files?

Today we want to share with you some general best practices for managing your digital media files. These suggestions may already be common practice for some stations, and if that’s the case, you’re certainly ahead of the game! Best practices for creating and managing digital media are constantly evolving. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, please share them by commenting on this post.

Metadata

Give each file a Unique Identifier, and if possible, add the unique identifier as an addendum to the file name, e.g:

Original file name: basicblack_140102.mov
Unique identifier that you assign the file name: wgbh_10467

New file name: wgbh_10476_basicblack_140102.mov

For camera generated digital files or Source Clips: DO NOT CHANGE OR RENAME THE  FILES.  Instead of changing the original file name, create a folder containing the individual file and name the folder using the Unique Identifier.

Record as much other information about the asset as possible by following the guidelines set forth in the Content Inventory Project. To download a sample Excel file with the basic metadata fields, click here.

Most importantly: Record where to find the asset on a hard drive by providing the full file path.

 Naming Digital Files

Folder and file names should only use:

  • A to Z (small case and capitalization are both acceptable
  • Numbers 0-9.
  • Underscores are acceptable but no other symbols such as !@#$%^&*() – +=|?,
  • A period is acceptable only before an application extension (.doc, .jpeg, etc)
  • No spaces within the folder and file name

Try to record essential information such as format type, date of creation and modification in the file names or through the folder structure.

File Organization

Think carefully about how best to organize your digital files in folders. Consider the best hierarchy for your digital files and whether a deep or shallow hierarchy is preferable. Files can be organized in folders according to:

  • Program Title
  • Format Generation (Master, B roll, Interview, Stock Footage, etc.)
  • Date
  • Camera Model or Digital Format (P2, Quicktime, XDCAM, MP4, DVCPro etc.)
  • Unique ID

Making Back-ups

Making back-ups of your digital files is an essential component to digitally preserving your files. Regular back-ups help to protect against hardware failure, software or media faults, viruses, power failure, or human error. Have multiple copies stored in different locations — on multiple hard drives, on your server, etc.

Data Storage

Like physical tapes, digital files are constantly at risk of being lost forever. Digital files really are only just a series of ones and zeroes — bytes of data — that must be rendered and played back. Like physical formats, digital formats can quickly become obsolete. A few suggestions:

  • create digital files using standardized formats for long-term readability
  • every two to five years, copy or migrate digital files to new hard drives, since the media storing the files are subject to degradation
  • create a schedule to regularly check the files to make sure they are still playable
  • store your digital files on two different forms of storage, such as a hard drive and a server
  • organize and clearly label your hard drives or other storage mediums
  • ensure that the areas where you are storing your hard drives and physical tapes are at a low risk of fire, flood, or other type of disaster

If you have any questions, suggestions, or resources you’d like to share about best practices for preserving born-digital media, please contribute your thoughts by commenting!

**Many thanks to WGBH Digital Archive Manager Leah Weisse for her contributions to this blog post!

This post was written by Casey E. Davis, Project Manager for the AAPB at WGBH.

Onward toward the 5,000 hour goal

I hope that you all enjoyed wonderful holidays with family and friends, and my best wishes to you and yours for a happy and prosperous New Year 2014.

Now that the holidays are over, we are excited to start moving forward with the addition of 5,000 more hours of born-digital or previously digitized materials to the American Archive. Several stations have committed to contributing material, and we are already more than halfway to our goal!

If your station participated in the American Archive Pilot Project, managed by Oregon Public Broadcasting in 2009, we would love to include the materials digitized in that project in our selection. Please email me if you would like to contribute those files and/or other digital files that you would like preserved with the American Archive collection.

If your station did not participate in the Pilot Project, but you do have born-digital or previously digitized material that you would like to contribute, please send me an email letting me know an approximate number of hours of audio/video files you want to submit and whether the files were included in your Content Inventory.

The process will be very simple.

For materials included in the Content Inventory:

If the materials you want to submit were included in your Content Inventory, then you can send me a list of GUIDs (American Archive unique identifiers, which are found with in record in the AMS), or a list of local ID’s you assigned to your assets in the inventory. I can easily batch nominate the materials for you. You could also nominate the materials yourself (it’s really easy, and I can show you how).

For materials not included in the Content Inventory:

If the files you want to contribute were not included in your Content Inventory, then we would just need a CSV file that contains the same information about each asset that was asked for during the Content Inventory Project:

  • Identifier
  • Identifier Source
  • Series Title
  • Program Title
  • Genre
  • Source of Genre
  • Unique ID
  • Unique ID Source
  • Format (digital)
  • Generation
  • Duration
  • Location

[Click here to download a sample CSV file.]

Upon receipt of the CSV (or PBCore XML), we could batch ingest the metadata into the AMS and nominate the records for you.

For materials digitized in the Pilot Project:

If you are interested in contributing files digitized in the Pilot Project, then good news — we already have the metadata and can ingest it into the system for you! In this case, all you would need to do is put the files on the drive and ship it to Crawford Media Services.

What happens after the assets are nominated:

Once the materials have been nominated in the AMS, we would ship you a hard drive on which you would put the files and ship them to Crawford. Crawford would keep the file you sent as the preservation file and would create a proxy, or access file. The preservation files would be sent to the Library of Congress for long-term preservation as part of the American Archive Collection, and the access files would stream through the AMS. Rights permitting, the files would be made available on the American Archive website after it goes live by March 2015.

Please email me at casey_davis [at] wgbh [dot] org if you are interested or if you have any questions.

This post was written by Casey E. Davis, Project Manager for the AAPB at WGBH.

How to view your digitized materials in the AMS

Today I wanted to share with you the step-by-step procedures for viewing your digitized materials in the Archival Management System (AMS). Visit ams.avpreserve.com to log-in. If you are a participating station and do not know your log-in credentials, email me and I can set you up with a login ID and password.

Once you have logged in to the system, you should see the dashboard. This is where you can track the progress of your digitization. Click on the “Records” tab at the top right of the page.

Image

Now you should see a table listing of all of the records you contributed during the Content Inventory Project.

Image

If Crawford Media Services (the digitization vendor) has already started on your station’s digitization, you should see a check box on the bottom of the left side bar that says “Digitized.” Click the small box next to “Digitized,” and you can filter your records to only include those that have a digitized media file attached to the record.

If you do not see the “Digitized” check box, then Crawford has not begun to digitize your materials yet. You can, however, view the records for the assets you nominated for digitization by clicking “Nomination Status” and selecting “Nominated/1st Priority.”

To view an individual record in the AMS, click the blue hyperlinked American Archive GUID, which is a unique identifier assigned to every record. If you are clicking on a record for an asset that has already been digitized, you will see a video/audio player appear above the metadata in the detailed view. And from here, you should be able to view or listen to the media.

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Below the video player, click “Open Proxy File.” Here, you will be able to easily pause and navigate forward and backward in the file.

AMS-dream

It may take a minute to load, and Google Chrome is the best browser to use when viewing the media. You can also download the proxy file to your computer by right-clicking within the iframe and selecting “Save As.”

If you have any questions or need any assistance navigating the AMS, please do not hesitate to email me at casey_davis [at] wgbh [dot] org.

This post was written by Casey E. Davis, Project Manager for the AAPB at WGBH.

Survey: What do you want in an export?

Hello stations! We’re working with our Archival Management System (AMS) vendor to determine metadata export functionality in the AMS. Since the Content Inventory Project, our team and our vendor have done a lot of data clean-up and normalization. We also plan to continue adding more description to the digitized materials (with permission from stations).

We want your opinion today on what type of metadata export would be useful for you. Please take a moment to complete this three question survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GSRQSBT

We sincerely appreciate your feedback!