C2C Care Course: Planning and Managing Magnetic Media Preservation Projects
Through demos, case studies, and practice, participants at small and mid-sized institutions will learn how to evaluate their institutional capacity to carry out audio or video tape preservation; analyze information contained in inventories to develop a project scope; calculate both digitization and storage costs; decide on preservation file types; and adopt recommended practices for safeguarding the files and metadata. Participants will then be introduced to finding a vendor and preparing for/managing an outsourced project, along with post-digitization quality assurance to make sure you got what you paid for.
Participants should come with a basic understanding of magnetic media formats and their relevant risk factors, as well as knowledge of common considerations for analog media storage. If a refresher is needed, the Preservation Self-Assessment Program Collection ID Guide provides detailed information about different analog media formats and their risks, and the Image Permanence Institute’s Media Storage Quick Reference is a useful tool for understanding recommended storage conditions for different types of media. Also, ideally, participants will have an inventory for a collection they wish to preserve or will be able to generate a sample inventory during this course. Where possible, participants are encouraged to complete an inventory with a minimum of 10 audio or video tapes–this can be an organizational collection or a personal collection. An inventory template will be provided once registration is complete.
This is a self-study course originally offered in a live format between March 4th and April 1st, 2021. Please note that any assignments are designed for enrichment only and will not be reviewed.
Webinar 1: Introduction: Evaluating organizational readiness
During this webinar, participants will be introduced to the first steps in developing a magnetic media preservation plan. They will learn how to evaluate their institutional readiness and capacity for carrying out a project from beginning to end. The broad magnetic media format categories will be covered along with factors of their obsolescence and production history, and how those factors may impact the scope of a project. This webinar will also introduce the importance of a good inventory, and how it is utilized throughout the lifecycle of a digitization project.
Webinar 2: Preparing for digitization
In this session, we will review recommended file formats for magnetic media digitization and how to identify destination file formats for your project. Selecting destination file formats for both long-term preservation and audience access impact many steps in the project, especially planning for digital storage. In a demonstration, we will also walk through the elements of an inventory and how to calculate anticipated storage needs and estimate costs based on inventory findings.
Webinar 3: Working with a Vendor Part 1
The session will cover how to select a vendor and begin working with them. We will discuss how the inventories created prior to this session can be used to begin a dialogue and provide a template for the vendor to capture the metadata you require. A case study on a media digitization project for which a vendor was contracted will be presented. The case study will cover how the organization determined a project was required and how they prepared for it, as well as the workflow the organization and the vendor established.
Webinar 4: Working with a Vendor Part 2
In the previous session, we discussed how to establish a relationship and workflow with a vendor. In this one, we will go over the process of quality assessment: the steps required once the media is returned and the digital files and metadata are received. This webinar will introduce the tools and resources one can use to assess the quality of the deliverables and how to determine the staff time and labor to dedicate to this process. Not all digital media players are created equal! This session will also touch on the basic requirements to consider when creating a long-term preservation plan for the digital files, though please be aware that it is beyond the scope of this course to provide a comprehensive presentation on long-term digital storage.
Webinar 5: Creating a digitization program “in-house”
Depending on the quantity of media, the formats, and the condition of the materials, an on-site preservation project or local collaboration can be a more cost-efficient and time-efficient option. Again utilizing an inventory, this final session will cover the requirements for establishing an on-site “digitization station” including how to select the necessary equipment and identify a location for the setup. We will also look at ways to collaborate with local organizations to share costs and labor. A case study will be presented, which will demonstrate how an organization determined an on-site program was the best option, and how they advocated for and implemented on-site preservation program.
At the end of this course, participants will:
- Be familiar with the overall process of magnetic media preservation from selection through the transfer process and post-digitization tasks
- Be able to evaluate your organization’s readiness and capacity to carry out magnetic media preservation project
- Understand the importance of data collected in a media inventory or catalog to preservation planning and implementation
- Utilize information from a media inventory to refine the selection, scope and costs of a preservation project as well as needed storage
- Distinguish recommended preservation file formats and factors involved in their selection
- Gain knowledge of the criteria for vendor selection and key points in the management of the preservation process
- Be familiar with the requirements for setting up a digitization program on-site or in collaboration with local partners
- Understand the necessary post-digitization steps for quality control
- Be introduced to recommended practices for safe storage of the files and preservation metadata
Registration Fee: FREE
Our Course Coordinators are Kristin MacDonough (she/her), Assistant Conservator of Media, Art Institute of Chicago and Mona Jimenez (she/her), Media Arts Consultant, Materia Media
Connecting to Collections Care courses are made possible in part by generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Uncovering CUNY’s Audiovisual History, CUNY TV
Kelly Haydon is an audiovisual archivist specializing in magnetic media and community collections. She received her MA from the Moving Image Archive and Preservation Access Program in 2014 and has since managed digitization projects at Bay Area Video Coalition, NYU Special Collections, and CUNY TV. She is a proud core member of XFR Collective.
Film Digitization Specialist
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Carmel currently works in the Moving Image Archive of Indiana University; is a board member of the non-profit Screen Slate, a daily resource for independent, repertory, and gallery screenings in New York City; and is a is a proud but distant member of XFR Collective, a volunteer run group that works to increase community access to at-risk audiovisual media. Previously, Carmel has worked with a range of institutions and individuals including the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the United Nations, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dirty Looks, Lincoln Center Archive, NYU, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, and Deluxe.
Audiovisual Preservation Manager
Shahed manages audiovisual preservation for California Revealed, a California State Library initiative to digitize and preserve archival collections related to California history from partner libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies. He has a Master’s degree in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists. He has previously worked on preservation projects at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the New Museum, and the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.
Independent Archivist / Program Manager
Audiovisual Heritage Center
Kelli Hix is an audiovisual archivist and consultant. She is the project manager of the Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC) at Metro Archives Nashville Public Library, and a core member of the Community Archiving Workshop (CAW). Kelli has worked as consultant, archivist, and curator for organizations including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mona Jimenez (Moderator)
Mona Jimenez specializes in conservation/preservation of independent media and media art collections in libraries, archives and museums. From 2003-2017 she was on the faculty of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP) at New York University and led curriculum development in areas of video preservation, collection management, and media art conservation. Jimenez is dedicated to collaborative and cross-disciplinary models for media archiving and preservation, founding NYU-MIAP’s international program Audiovisual Preservation Exchange and initiating the Community Archiving Workshop model.
Kristin MacDonough (Moderator)
Assistant Media Conservator
Kristin MacDonough works as the Assistant Media Conservator at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she collaborates with colleagues throughout the museum to implement guidelines and procedures for acquiring, assessing, exhibiting, and conserving time-based media artworks. She also co-leads the TBM Forum and oversees the development of digital storage for artworks. Prior to this role, Kristin held the position of Digitization Specialist at the Video Data Bank where she migrated much of the analog video collection. A member of the Chicago Area Archivists, she also coordinates the Audiovisual Materials Interest Group and organizes video preservation workshops. She serves as the 2020-2022 Chair for the Electronic Media Group, part of the American Institute for Conservation. Kristin is a founding member of XFR Collective and a 2013 graduate of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University.