Physical Media to Digital Storage: Migrating Audiovisual Files in Museum Collections

Includes a Live Event on 10/13/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

  • Register
    • Early bird pricing available!
    • Non-member - $99
    • Member - $99
    • Regular Price after 10/01/2020 12:05 AM
    • Non-member - $149
    • Member - $149

Do you have collections of obsolete and vulnerable removable media (optical media, hard drives, flash drives, etc.) but no backup of the files (the content) to safe and secure storage? This course, created for collections care staff at small and mid-sized institutions, takes you through the steps to identify, prioritize, describe, verify, and to safely transfer the files. 

At the end of the course, participants will be equipped to plan and carry out their own migration plans of these critically endangered materials. The emphasis will be on moving image, sound and multimedia content, but the course will be applicable to the shared concerns about other materials such as photos and text. A sample Excel template will be provided listing the key information necessary for management of the carriers and files.

Webinar 1: Digital Media Carriers and Their Properties
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 1:00pm-2:30pm ET
Presenter: Elena Colón-Marrero, Digital Archivist, Computer History Museum
In the first webinar, participants will learn to distinguish media carriers and their variations, as well as their relative risks, thus providing data for priority-setting. 

Webinar 2: Examining Media Carriers
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020 1:00pm-2:30pm ET
Presenter: Lorena Ramirez López, Full Stack Developer / Media Preservation Specialist 
In the second webinar, participants will be introduced to the “what and why” of a basic migration workflow using write blockers and will learn various ways to gather information about the carrier’s key attributes. 

Webinar 3: Examining Media Files
Date:  Thursday, October 29, 2020 1:00pm-2:30pm ET
Presenter: Caroline Gil (she/her), Media Conservation Fellow, MoMA/Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the third webinar, participants will be presented with techniques for evaluating moving image and sound files in terms of their historical use, technical specifications, and sustainability, and will learn how to use computer-based tools to capture and organize available metadata. 

Webinar 4: Creating a Migration Plan
Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020 1:00pm-2:30pm ET
PresenterAnnie Schweikert, Digital Archivist, Stanford University Library Special Collections
In the fourth webinar, file transfer will be demonstrated after a discussion of the principles of digital storage and the practical preparatory steps necessary to begin migration. 

Webinar 5: Media Migration Case Studies
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020 1:00pm-2:30pm ET
Presenters: Caroline Gil (she/her), Media Conservation Fellow, MoMA/Metropolitan Museum of Art and Elena Colón-Marrero, Digital Archivist, Computer History Museum
The fifth webinar will present one or more case studies where a museum or archive has implemented a migration plan. 

*Please note: All webinars will be done using Zoom. 

By end of course, the participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Identify and understand the risks of common removable media carriers (optical media, hard drives, flash drives, etc.) used to store moving images, sound and multimedia files
  • Examine and analyze the carriers by such attributes as type, formatting, connector type, and capacity
  • Examine and analyze the files contained on the media by such attributes as type, format, codec (encoding), size, interdependencies and sustainability
  • Describe and document the carrier and the files using digital tools and inventories to capture information used for discovery, planning and prioritization, and monitoring for sustainability
  • Analyze the state of the organization’s digital storage against community standards, and understand how to plan for, prepare, and arrange the digital storage pre-transfer of the files
  • Transfer files to the storage using workflows (including write blocking and checksums) that maintain the integrity of the files and their arrangement and retain associated metadata
  • Create a plan that reflects community standards for the migration of files and care of the media carriers, considering organization’s needs and resources

Registration Fee: $149

Register by September 30th to receive a special early registration rate of $99.

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.

Annie Schweikert

Digital Archivist

Annie Schweikert is a Digital Archivist at Stanford University Libraries, where she reformats, processes, and makes accessible born-digital archival materials. Previously, she worked as an audiovisual archivist at the Human Studies Film Archives (part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History) and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. She has a master’s in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University.

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.

Elena Colón-Marrero

Digital Archivist

Elena Colón-Marrero is the Digital Archivist at the Computer History Museum. She has been at the museum since 2016 where she manages the museum’s digital collections and historic software collection. Previously, Colón-Marrero served as the 2015 John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Archival Fellow at the Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University where she conducted a survey of born-digital media within the collections. She has her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan with concentrations in Archives and Records Management and Digital Preservation.

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Webinar 1: Digital Media Carriers and Their Properties
10/13/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
10/13/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes This first webinar session will provide an introduction to common digital media carriers used for storing moving images, sound, and multimedia. We’ll also identify risks inherent to all media carriers, as well as those associated with specific types of carriers. The type of carrier is important, but the ultimate goal is to transfer the content off the carrier, so the session will also look at strategies for inventorying and what information to gather for establishing priorities.
Webinar 2: Examining Media Carriers
10/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
10/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes After learning about different media carriers in the first webinar, this second session will walk through how to safely access further metadata about carriers and the content they store. We’ll discuss the type of equipment, like write-blockers and external devices, that may be needed to access carriers on computer platforms. This session will introduce the command line (Terminal on Mac and Command Prompt on PCs) and highlight some built in tools, like Get Info or Disk Utility, that can be used to learn more about the carrier.
Webinar 3: Examining Media Files
10/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
10/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes In this next webinar, we will dive into the files stored on media carriers. We will cover how to identify file formats and introduce tools, like Mediainfo and Exiftool, which can be used to examine file metadata. The value of the content will be determined by your institutional priorities, so we will also discuss what software may be required to view or listen to files. This webinar will also introduce the concept of fixity, ensuring a file remains unchanged throughout its life cycle. Finally, we’ll continue our inventory process and discuss the benefits of a file-level inventory, and how the data gathered informs migration and preservation planning.
Webinar 4: Creating a Migration Plan
11/05/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes
11/05/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes Creating a plan for migrating content off media carriers is informed by the value of the content, the risks to carriers and file format identified in the inventory process, and by institutional priorities and readiness. While this session won’t cover establishing a long-term digital preservation plan, you will learn how to evaluate your institutional readiness for digital storage. We will also walk through the steps of safely transferring content from digital media carriers, with examples from different types of carriers, and how to validate the transfers and confirm the content transferred successfully.
Webinar 5: Media Migration Case Studies
11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes
11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes By this time, you will be familiar with the tools and terminology related to developing a migration plan for your media. In this final session, one or more of the instructors will return to share case studies of one or more migration projects they undertook.