Preservation

Preservation Committee Meeting: April 19, 2016

CARLI Office, Champaign

Members Attending:

  • Mary Burns 2015-2016, Northern Illinois University
  • Jenny Dunbar 2014-2015, College of DuPage
  • Miriam Centeno 2014-2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Greg MacAyeal, 2014-2017, Northwestern University
  • Beth McGowan 2013-2016, Northern Illinois University
  • Jamie Nelson 2015-2018, DePaul University
  • Patrick Brown 2015 -2018, SIU Carbondale

Member Absent:

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Audiovisual Preservation Care & Handling

Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As the culmination of this year-long study on the care of audiovisual materials, the CARLI Preservation Committee sponsored an AV Preservation Workshop held on April 18th, 2016, at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana Champaign. The instructor was Joshua Harris, Media Preservation Coordinator at UIUC. 

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Grant Writing

James “Joe” Feigl III, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate student and Melanie R. Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville​

Grant writing for audiovisual preservation starts with the basics: learning who has funding available and how that money can be used.  In the world of philanthropy the value of a library preservation project is based on the service it will provide and who will benefit from that service.  Grants will vary in their focus, with many current grants funding diversity, sustainability, LBGT, and digitization projects.  The goal is to use the information from an audiovisual collection analysis to develop a grant proposal that fits in with the philanthropy world’s current interests.  Below is an up-to-date annotated bibliography of materials about grant writing and also a list of currently available grant websites with examples of funded projects, the information on currently open grants, and future funding available for the preservation of library materials.

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Still Photographs and Photographic Formats

Jenny Dunbar, Archivist, College of DuPage​

Photographs were not always well regarded as historical documents. In the early stages of the development of archives, many archivists did not consider photographs as primary source material and relegated any visual material to a more subordinate position. Now, the value of photographs is appreciated, and they play a significant role in cultural heritage collections. It is imperative that these materials be preserved.

Like most audiovisual material, the preservation of still images is a complex one. Heliographs, daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, tintypes, albumen, silver gelatin prints, calotype paper negatives, glass plate negatives, nitrate, diacetate and polyester negatives, lantern slides, autochromes, film slides, digital photographs – the list goes on and on. The preservation of this multitude of formats is a daunting task that presents significant concerns, necessitating a variety of storage conditions and techniques. Additionally, photographic collections are usually heavily used, a factor that increases their susceptibility to damage.

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Preservation Committee's Reflections on Our Year

Perhaps the most striking response to our work this year is how much we needed to learn and how challenging the field of AV preservation is crossing many mediums, using many different kinds of machines, and requiring so much specific technological know-how. We also had a sense as we examined these objects of their urgent preservation needs and how AV materials are often overlooked. This is especially true when we consider issues of shrinking budgets, staff, and the struggle professionals have balancing competing priorities.

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Anne Thomason's Story of Her Year

Audiovisual Materials at Lake Forest College Case Study, Anne Thomason

Anne Thomason, College Archivist and Librarian for Special Collection at Lake Forest College

Preservation Committee Meeting: March 21, 2016

Conference Call

Members Attending:

  • Patrick Brown, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
  • Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University
  • Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Beth McGowan, Northern Illinois University
  • Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

Members Absent:

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Disaster Planning

Jamie Nelson, DePaul University

Readers of this installment of the Preservation Committee’s yearlong look at audiovisual/media preservation will likely recognize that the information presented in this piece isn’t new, but that the application specific to AV materials may leave some room for revision and improvement at our own institutions.  Lucky for all of us, we have two motivating factors going in our favor; the peer pressure of other Illinois institutions considering these AV issues together this year, and the upcoming MayDay call to focus on disaster planning and “take personal and professional responsibility for doing something simple … but that can have a significant impact on an individual’s or a repository’s ability to respond.”

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: New Prints & Digitization

Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University

While much has been written about the digital preservation of book and paper materials and more recently attention has turned to the critical need to preserve audiovisual materials of artifactual value in special collections, there is little available to inform the digitization process for access or reference copies.

Preservation Committee Meeting: February 15, 2016

CONFERENCE CALL

Members Attending:

  • Patrick Brown, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University
  • Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Greg MacAyeal, Northwestern University
  • Beth McGowan, Northern Illinois University
  • Jamie Nelson, DePaul University
  • Anne Thomason, Lake Forest College

Members Absent:

Preservation Committee Meeting: January 25, 2016

CONFERENCE CALL

Members Attending:

  • Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University
  • Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Beth McGowan, Northern Illinois University
  • Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Anne Thomason, Lake Forest College

Members Absent:

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Audio

Greg MacAyeal, Northwestern University

For those of us gifted with the ability to hear, it’s hard to imagine a world without sound. Meaning is carried in the listening of our loved ones voices, the music we consume, and in all the other sounds we are surrounded with every day.  Recorded audio is the mechanical or digital capture of meaning – the rich experience of humanity. As stated by Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski in the introduction to The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age (Library of Congress, 2010): “Recorded sound is more than music and entertainment; it encompasses the sounds of the streets, of nature, and of the vanished folk heritage of indigenous and transplanted cultures, as well as of important national events and precious moments in our own personal lives.” It’s easy to understand the impact of audio. Reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous address on the Lincoln Memorial steps is inspiring indeed, but hearing the speech is altogether unforgettable. Everyone deserves the chance to hear “I Have a Dream”.

Library collections both large and small are likely to have some captured audio whether it’s in the form of a CD, a cassette tape or one of the many other formats. It’s not uncommon to find digital audio tape (DAT), open reel tape, LP phonodiscs, and 78 RPM phonodiscs. Special libraries and archives additionally own wire recordings, microcassettes, and Dictaphone belts and tapes. Of course, in 2016 most captured audio is in a digital format, of which there are many versions and kinds. Simply meeting the need of ensuring the longevity of audio collections is a large challenge, and one complete with a time sensitive deadline. If the format itself is not degrading, the playback equipment is hard to find and repair. For born digital collections, we have been slow to realize the need for a reformatting plan. With the estimated 46 million sound recordings at risk[1], action is needed now.

Audiovisual Preservation Workshop

The CARLI Preservation Committee is pleased to sponsor an Audiovisual Preservation Workshop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library.

The instructor for the day will be Joshua Harris, UIUC Library Media Preservation Coordinator. Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on activities, participants will learn about identification, care, handling, and condition assessment of audiovisual materials.  The how’s and why’s of media digitization and the basics of repair will be covered.  CARLI will provide lunch. No experience with media items is required.

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Collection Assessment

Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Why do you need to conduct a collection assessment?

Thus far in the year-long project on the preservation of audiovisual (AV) materials, the CARLI Preservation Committee has concentrated on the need for getting to know an institution’s AV holdings, by taking inventory and identifying formats. Much like the principle that “Form follows function,” the collecting priorities of an institution, the nature of the holdings, and their physical condition will greatly influence the creation of a preservation plan.

Conducting an assessment survey gathers all of the information together in one place, so that the next steps can be prioritized.  The survey can be as simple or as complex as a collection needs, the important thing is that the tool used to gather, store, and process the information is adequate to the scale of the holdings. This allows the surveyor to avoid building a huge survey that takes a very long time to complete and yields little useful information. For very small collections, a single spreadsheet that can be sorted by selected categories can suffice. For larger institutions, a tool that can grow as needs change will work better such as adding new locations and new collections to the general survey.

Preservation Committee Meeting: December 14, 2015

CONFERENCE CALL

Members Attending:

  • Patrick Brown, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University
  • Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Greg MacAyeal, Northwestern University
  • Jamie Nelson, DePaul University
  • Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Members Absent:

Preservation Committee Meeting: November 16, 2015

Conference Call

Members Attending:

  • Mary Burns, Northern Illinois University
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Beth McGowan, Northern Illinois University
  • Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Members Absent:

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Film Identification, Film Condition and Film Preservation

​Film–whether motion picture film, cut sheet film, microfilm, (either microform or microfiche), and amateur film – is generally at great risk in most collections. These four kinds of film come in three major materials: nitrate, acetate and polyester. Of these three, most attention will be paid to acetate because it is fragile and common. In contrast, the earliest of these materials, nitrate, while fragile and flammable, is relatively rare. The most recently developed material of film, polyester, though common, is a very stable material and requires less attention.

The four major steps to film preservation are locate the film, identify its material, assess its condition, and choose a preservation storage method based on best practices for condition of film and institutional feasibility. Unfortunately, none of these is easy.  

Preservation Committee Meeting: September 21, 2015

Conference Call

Members Attending:

  • Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jenny Dunbar, College of DuPage
  • Beth McGowan, Northern Illinois University
  • Patrick Brown, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Members Absent:

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: Inventory of Video

Melanie Schoenborn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Why does a library do a video inventory? Should you do a sampling or a complete inventory? Reinvent the process or use tried and true methods? What, where, and how are the policies and procedures for doing an inventory? The answers to these questions reveal that an inventory allows the collection to be analyzed and the quality of this part of your library to be validated.

A Year in the Life of Audiovisual/Media Preservation in Illinois: An Introduction

Miriam Centeno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Have you ever had the experience of having a retired professor walk in to your library with an 8 mm film reel and not having the equipment to play it? Or has a donation come in for your archives with VHS tapes that are all covered in mold? How often do you worry about the state of your media collection? Have you ever tried to plan for its preservation?

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