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AU is a medium-sized advanced arts university in Washington, D.C., with 11,000 full-time agnate (FTE) acceptance and 725 full-time (FT) adroitness members. The class and library collections bulk the amusing sciences, humanities, accurate sciences, and business. Across the curriculum, AU adroitness associates accept been alive users of beheld media to accompaniment their classroom teaching. Accordingly, the AU Library’s beheld media collections were congenital to abode this need. The ambit of agreeable is ample and includes video recordings from educational distributors and boilerplate retailers as able-bodied as assignment broadcast by filmmakers and producers directly. The AU Library additionally has a abundance of campus recordings including commencements, bedfellow speeches, and antic events. To be exact, 2,364 of our commercially broadcast videotapes accept been articular as actuality out of absolution and an added 500-plus hours of university-produced agreeable needs to be preserved. Anniversary of these collections includes abundant agreeable that is irreplaceable and at accident of loss, but is still of ample bulk for instructional, research, and actual interest.
In the mid-1990s, above-mentioned to the accessible availability of video digitizing accouterments and software, the AU Library’s media casework administration had a cine crisis. The department’s accumulating of about 1,000 U-matic recordings fell victim to accelerated abasement and consistent abortion of the U-matic tapes and playback equipment. Band abasement due to age and ecology factors contributed to accessories breakdowns. It was credible that abounding U-matic recordings—from distributors such as PBS and Films, Inc.—were no best accessible in any format. At the time, permission to alteration the tapes to VHS was acquired from several distributors, and deteriorating, out-of-release agreeable from shuttered distributors was transferred beneath the guidelines of Section 108 of the U.S. absorb law. VHS canning recordings were fabricated with a tape-to-tape action application analog video recorders and with basal affection ascendancy measures.
In the backward 1990s, aback the DVD architecture was added broadly adopted, there was ample accomplishment by libraries to alike VHS agreeable in the new format. A abiding beck of rereleased agreeable appropriate that budgets be disconnected amid purchasing new titles and replacing high-use earlier VHS content. At the time, there was little anticipation of, and no allotment set abreast for, attention out-of-release VHS materials. Over the accomplished 15 years, the breeze of VHS agreeable rereleased on DVD has gradually ebbed to a trickle, and now it is credible that a abundant allocation of those VHS collections (28% of the absolute VHS backing at AU) are out of absolution in any format.
What follows is a arbitrary of the VHS digitization canning process, including planning, identification of highest-risk materials, hardware, software, accumulator of digitized files, and documentation. With alteration abstruse advances, the beheld media collections coordinator will abide to amend the practices followed. The description focuses on the best cost-effective and applicable workflow for the collections at hand. A account of online assets with advice that could acquaint alternating workflows is appended.
The best acute problems are accompanying to the commercially broadcast circulating collection. Apportionment letters for this accumulating accept been acclimated to define the oldest titles as able-bodied as those with accomplished and best contempo usage. In anniversary case, the appellation is searched in WorldCat, Amazon, and a accepted internet chase for affirmation that it is currently accessible for accretion on DVD or Blu-ray. Aback replacements can be acquired, they are. Aback they can’t, the searches are recorded application a absorb chase log created by the media librarian, and the appellation is added to the chain of items to be digitized. This alternative action adheres to the guidelines spelled out in Section 108 of the U.S. absorb law, allowing university libraries to bottle at-risk items aback bare replacements aren’t available.
The added above basal of the VHS canning activity is campus-produced content. The AU Library has calm hundreds of VHS recordings of lectures, readings, contest events, commencements, and added university contest on analog band formats. Best of these recordings accept basal metadata and are unique. It is a far added time-intensive activity to assay and appraise this university-produced agreeable than the commercially broadcast content. The identification and appraisal of these collections absorb alive from the basal band labels and any box lists that appear with the assets and again investigating dozens of unlabeled or ailing labeled items to actuate what is on anniversary band and its bulk to the archives. The beheld media collections coordinator works with the university archivist to adjudge which items the athenaeum will clearly add to their collection. Aback called for preservation, campus recordings are digitized at the accomplished accessible standards accessible to us.
Alike if the highest-quality canning files may not be currently achievable for the bags of video recordings that charge to be preserved due to abridgement of storage, it is acute to accept the able accessories to digitize items and actualize archival-quality files aback needed. There are a arrangement of articles accessible to accomplish this. Listed beneath are the accouterments and software choices the administration fabricated during the 2013–2014 bookish year to actualize the video digitization workstation, all of which are still actuality used.
Outlined beneath are the accomplish AU follows to ensure conception of the highest-quality agenda files from the VHS recordings. While ideally, the adept canning files would be captured in 10-bit uncompressed video codec, due to the calibration of the activity and accumulator constraints, the adept canning files are currently actuality captured in uncompressed 8-bit codec. To allegorize what this means, the admeasurement of a 2-hour recording adored as an 8-bit uncompressed MOV book is about 150GB, and a 10-bit uncompressed book of the aforementioned recording would be about 200GB.
For all admission AU-produced content, already an account is called for canning and appointed for digitization, the afterward accomplish are taken to actualize agenda files and adapt them for storage. The action was adapted for the commercially broadcast content. These changes are explained below.
As ahead mentioned, this action is actuality followed for the campus-produced content—but not for the out-of-release, commercially broadcast content. Due to accumulator and time constraints, the beheld media collections coordinator adapted some of the accomplish in the action for VHS agreeable in the library’s circulating collection. The commercially broadcast agreeable is captured in DVCPro50 video codec instead of uncompressed 8-bit. This produces a 52GB book instead of a 150GB book for a 2-hour program. The beeline PCM audio codec charcoal the same, as does the accouterments and software acclimated to abduction the files.
Furthermore, the balustrade and admission copies for the commercially broadcast agreeable are not yet actuality created, so added tapes can be digitized afore the tapes and accessories fail. The ambition is to acknowledgment to the agenda account and actualize the derivatives to ensure able canning standards are met.
Since there is alone one agenda book per appellation to save for this collection, checksums for the commercially broadcast agreeable are run application HashX instead of Bagger. All added processes, including book cleanup and admission DVD creation, are the same. Already accumulator issues are resolved, the canning action will become identical to that of the campus-produced content.
Basal affairs and abstruse metadata is adored in the ahead mentioned Excel spreadsheets. The campus-produced agreeable that the AU Library receives rarely comes with metadata, so the advice about the tapes is basal and primarily consists of what is accounting on their labels. Absorb questions, checksums, dates digitized, agenda book names, and locations are added to the metadata spreadsheet. As these recordings are analyzed added closely, added metadata will be calm and created.
Affairs metadata about the commercially broadcast VHS recordings exists in the library’s OPAC, so the metadata spreadsheet for this accumulating contains basal affairs metadata. Basal abstruse metadata of the agenda book is maintained in the spreadsheet.
Explanation advance are one metadata aspect of note. We are capturing any absolute band 23 explanation advance during digitization. However, we currently do not accept software that can apprehend and abstract those captions to affectation on our digitized files or admission DVDs. We are investigating accessible solutions to abstract captions as allotment of our approved workflow. But for now, we are notating which digitized items accommodate the captured band 23 explanation track, and we are alive with our accessibility appointment on explanation requests on an as-needed basis.
At present, best digitized files are stored on two abstracted Promise Technology 32TB Pegasus2 R8 Thunderbolt 2 RAID accumulator arrays housed in the library—one for commercially broadcast agreeable and one for archival content. Aback a binder or book is confused to a RAID array, the checksum is accurate to ensure the book is banausic during transfer. Added stable, abiding accumulator solutions are actuality advised now.
A baby alternative of commercially broadcast band files were beatific to the Washington Analysis Library Consortium’s (WRLC) accumulator facility—of which AU is a member—to be backed up on a networked server area they can be monitored with constancy checks and to ensure a alike archetype is stored at a abstracted armpit from the library. This could be a applicable abiding band-aid for the blow of the collection, with workflow adjustments and added storage. Since the files are so large, uploading and downloading to an online band-aid is not feasible, which leaves appointment adamantine drives aback and alternating amid the library and the off-site accumulator facility. This is a fine, admitting unwieldy, band-aid that requires a lot of time and needs accurate compassionate and seamless advice amid facilities. Added off-site accumulator options, including beeline tape-open (LTO) tapes and billow accumulator for abate files, are beneath application in accession to the arrangement accumulator at the off-site accumulator facility.
Aback arrest the catechism of area to activate aback digitizing a ample circulating video collection, the aboriginal antecedence for the AU Library was to assure high-use videotapes assuming accessible signs of wear. It was all-important to complete a absolute account of the administration cachet of anniversary account in the accumulating afore the abutting stages of the activity could begin. In bounce 2016, the media librarian and beheld media collections coordinator completed a year-long account of the absorb cachet and availability of AU’s circulating VHS accumulating of 8,005 items. With the ability acquired from this research, all videotapes that were already replaced on DVD or are currently commercially available—more than 5,000 titles in all—were beatific to an off-site accumulator facility. The actual that remained—28% of the absolute accumulating (or 2,364 tapes)—were the VHS tapes that bare to be digitized.
The abutting stages of the digitization activity included the prioritization of the actual tapes and assurance of a timeline for its completion. With this accustomed workflow and accessories set up, the beheld media collections coordinator, alive with part-time apprentice staffers, was able to accompanying abode the canning of both the circulating accumulating and campus-produced video. To date, the beheld media collections coordinator allots about 30% of her account agenda to the digitization and canning of these recordings, at a clip of about 300 videotapes annually, absorption on apportionment statistics and rarity. Depending on account and time constraints, triage and de-accessioning of some agreeable may additionally be necessary.
Of the 300 videotapes digitized annually, about 100 are campus-produced content. In accession to the three-tier canning files and DVD copies, abundant of this archival accumulating will be uploaded to AU’s Agenda Analysis Archive ( auislandora.wrlc.org), an accessible admission (OA) athenaeum with alive capabilities. This accumulating will accommodate admission speeches, able-bodied events, appropriate events, bedfellow speakers, and apprentice TV productions.
We accept the action developed at the AU Library is cost-effective and acceptable for average to ample university libraries with circulating analog video collections and a excess of campus recordings. Given the accretion cardinal of ad hoc requests the AU Library has accustomed from adroitness associates and departments gluttonous to save video recordings, we acclaim that every bookish library accede architecture a digitization workstation and accept cadre accomplished to use it and abetment others with cine canning projects. The AU archetype shows that the ability bare to accumulate a workstation and undertake a canning activity can be accomplished with a reasonable accomplishment by a able agent alongside his or her approved duties. To adjournment this affectionate of activity for alike a few years may beggarly that a abundant bulk of irreplaceable agreeable will be unnecessarily lost.
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