On July 9th, we held our first American Archive Meet-up. Thanks to all of the participating stations and organizations who made it such a success! We’re excited to continue this series of informal video conference calls, intended to provide a space for stations from across the country to connect, share experiences, and ask questions.
Our next meet-up will take place August 7, at 2pm EST.
For the first half of the meet-up, we’ll talk about the issues facing stations and other public media entities with the management and preservation of born digital video and audio files. For years, we’ve been able to sit a tape on the shelf and expect it to play 20-30 years later as long as we have a machine to play it. Born digital files are much more vulnerable, and we’re all on the front lines of having to figure out how to maintain digital files’ integrity for years to come. During this meeting, we will discuss the issues we are dealing with preserving born-digital file-based media — from preserving various formats, to selecting storage media and accommodating huge digital footprints, to generating technical and descriptive metadata to make the materials accessible in the future.
For the second half of the meet-up, Andy Lanset will discuss New York Public Radio’s outreach efforts through social media (Twitter and Tumblr), as well as the department’s landing page on the station website and a weekly E-Newsletter published since September, 2002. Both WNYC and WQXR have rich radio histories that present an on-going opportunity for research, acquisition and publication.
If you’re interested in joining the meeting, we’re using this GoToMeeting link. Use your microphone and speakers or call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 (805) 309-0014
Access Code: 506-007-125
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
By Emily Halevy, Director of Media Management Sales at Crawford Media Services
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Halevy. I’m the Director of Media Management Sales at Crawford Media Services. Hopefully by now, stations have been able to work with Chip and David- our fabulous project managers- and are well on their way to receiving their digitized content.
I want to take a moment to first say how much this project means to me. Growing up, I was an army brat and moved nearly every year of my childhood, sometimes even twice a year, until I hit 10 years old. My sister and I figured out that by the time we’d moved out of our parent’s house we’d moved a total of 24 times. I say that because there weren’t many constants in my life … just my sister, my parents, and PBS. I used to lay my blanket out in the living room floor, sit on it with my stuffed animals pretending it was a magic carpet and watch Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, 3-2-1 Contact and all the other children’s programming for hours on end. No matter where we lived, no matter where life took us, I always had my blanket and PBS. I feel like in some way I’m now helping to preserve this programming much in the same way it helped me preserve some sense of stability throughout my childhood. To all of you who helped those great programs find their way into my home and my life, I thank you.
Enough about me! Let’s talk about this project!
The task as outlined was to digitize 35,000 hours of audio and video content across 55,000 tapes, and transcode another 5,000 hours of born digital content from approximately 100 stations. Easy enough, right?! Well, our first head scratching, “how are we gonna do this” moment came when we realized that we would actually need to hold the majority of this content simultaneously. Fifty-eight pallets of tapes and hundreds of additional boxes to be exact. So, we allocated some of our space to creating a secure crypt with temperature control and FM-200 fire suppression.
And then we thought, hmm … how is everyone going to barcode their materials consistently, so that when they arrive there is no issue with scanning them? Well, it turned out the easiest solution was for us to print the barcodes and ship them out to all of the stations.
Then we realized, huh … while this project is one project, it’s actually more like 100 different projects with clients all over the country. Even in Guam and Alaska. And about Alaska … Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands to be specific … a truck run was impossible. We couldn’t do a Fed Ex or UPS run. So, our solution was to have the station book their tapes as luggage on Alaska Airlines, which just so happens to fly into Atlanta. As for our other stations, where possible, Chip was able to coordinate shipping between stations, using 53 foot pharmaceutical, climate controlled trucks, instead of overnight carriers. We project this logistical feat has saved the project approximately $85,000 in shipping costs, which will in turn be used to digitize more media. Yay!
Now for the files … three for video tapes, two for audio tapes and one transcode for born digital. And then there’s the BagIt container … each source tape yields up to 27 objects including the media essence files, closed caption files, SAMMA migration log, technical metadata files, checksums and so on. That’s nearly 1.5M pieces of information generated and tracked throughout the project!
Along the way, we’ve uncovered a few priceless gems, including Robert Frost reading a selection of his poems from WFCR, a Frank Zappa interview from KGNU, an Ayn Rand speech from WFCR, and film studies major and movie buff David Braught’s favorite: three tapes from KQED that were actually labeled as “Over Easy” programs. These three turned out to be interviews with film director Akira Kurosawa and a tribute to Japanese Cinema, which included interviews with Kurosawa, Coppola and Lucas. These tapes were thought to be lost. No longer thanks to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting!
Here are some other little factoids:
Tapes are being digitized 24 hours a day, five days a week and even some weekends to stay on schedule.
Thousands of ¼” reel-to-reel audio tapes and ¾” Umatics have been baked.
The project will result in over 1 Petabyte of new data, 2 Petabytes with the copies.
We are just starting to tackle born digital. Our original data estimate for born digital was in the neighborhood of 6 TB of data. We now anticipate handling over 33,000 files, which will result in around 280 Terabytes of data.
To date, we’ve written over 1,000 LTO-5 data tapes.
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the stations over the past year and a half. As we wind down this phase of the project over the next few months, we hope that the American Archive of Public Broadcasting continues to grow into what surely will become one of the most educational and culturally diverse archives in the country.
Hi! I’m Sadie Roosa, and I’m very excited to join the American Archive team here at WGBH. I’ve already met many of you before, through emails and phone calls, when I was helping to wrap up the Content Inventory Project. In the meantime, I worked on several other WGBH projects, and got to manage the final stages of the Boston TV News Digital Library website (which you should all totally go check out. It’s awesome!). Now, I’m eager as ever to start back in on this grand endeavor.
I will be working on many different parts of the project, supporting Project Manager Casey Davis, but I will be mainly focused on metadata and cataloging. I’m thrilled with this assignment because it means I get to watch and listen to all of the great content that’s being digitized. Just taking a few cursory strolls through the AMS, I’ve already come across so many interesting things that I can’t even pick a favorite.
As I will likely be working with many of the station contacts, I thought it’d be a good idea to tell you a bit more about myself. I graduated with my MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, and before that got my BA in Literary Studies at Simon’s Rock, a very small college in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Most of my free time is spent cooking, reading, watching TV (I am an AV archivist, whatcha gonna do?), and walking around Boston. I also love to bake, and apparently I’m pretty good at it. One time when I brought scones in for the office, I had a coworker run up to me and yell, “Did you makes these?! What are you even doing working here?! You should be selling these in a bakery.” I chose to take that as a compliment.
If you ever plan on visiting us here in Boston, I’d love to meet you. Just give me a day’s notice, and I’ll whip up your favorite cookies, cake, scones, pie, etc. You can also contact me with questions whenever, at 617.300.2668 or sadie_roosa [at] wgbh [dot] org. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet discovered how to send muffins as email attachments.
A couple of weeks ago we shared a blog post introducing an opportunity for stations to discuss and continue to learn about how to preserve your station’s history. American Archive Meet-ups will take place as informal video conference calls among American Archive participating stations and organizations to discuss issues related to archiving and preserving your materials.
(I hope you are as excited about this as we are!)
Our first meet-up is happening on July 9 at 10am ET. If you’re interested in joining the call, please fill out the form below or email Casey at casey_davis [at] wgbh [dot] org so that we can add you to the invite.
PS – You don’t have to commit to attending every meet-up in order to join the meet-ups. We’ll send out a topic agenda before each call, and if the topic peaks your interest, you’re free to drop in to discuss it with us.
The Grammy Foundation has just announced that they are accepting grant proposals for music and recorded sound archiving and preservation projects. The program has two funding categories: Preservation Implementation ($20,000 maximum award) and Preservation Assistance ($5,000 maximum award), and more information about these categories can be found here.
If your station is interested in applying for a grant, our team would love to collaborate with you on adding an American Archive component to your project!
We’re organizing a meet-up among the American Archive team and participating stations and organizations to talk about issues related to archiving, digital file management, storage and preservation best practices, metadata, working with volunteers and interns, and other archival-related topics that participants want to discuss. The meet-ups will be very informal and will provide an opportunity for stations to gather feedback from the American Archive team and learn about how others are preserving their stations’ archives.
We’ll be organizing the meet-ups as small groups on a rotating schedule so that we can maintain an ease of conversation during the phone calls. If you’re interested in joining a group, please fill out the form and we’ll get in touch with you to let you know who is in your group and when we’ll be meeting.
Hey folks, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting has joined Facebook! Find us at http://www.facebook.com/amarchivepub, and stay up to date with the project by ‘liking’ our page. As always, we appreciate your support!
The team at AudioVisual Preservation Solutions (AVPS) has just completed their contract with the American Archive to build the Archival Management System (AMS). The AMS is a database where stations can access their records created during the Content Inventory Project and view the files that have been digitized through the American Archive Digitization Project.
The American Archive team from WGBH presented at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of our station collaborators in person and gather tremendously useful feedback from participants. Many thanks to all of those who attended the session and reception, as well as those who took the time to meet with us at other moments during the conference. Additionally, we are sincerely grateful to our co-presenters, Sandy Schonning from KQED and Laura Sampson from Rocky Mountain PBS’ Stations Archived Memories program.
Below we’ve provided our Annual Meeting slideshow, divided into three sections: 1) history and progress of the American Archive, 2) stories from stations, and 3) discussion. During the discussion section, we asked a series of questions, and in this version of the presentation you will find a summary of the answers. If your organization is participating in the American Archive, please feel free to comment on this post with your answers to these questions (or questions about these questions!).
Feel free to email any of our session presenters:
Karen Cariani, Director WGBH Media Library & Archives
karen_cariani [at] wgbh [dot] org
Casey E. Davis, Project Manager, American Archive
WGBH Media Library & Archives casey_davis [at] wgbh [dot] org
Laura Sampson, Rocky Mountain PBS
Stations Archived Memories
laurasampson [at] me [dot] com