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Video Preservation Part 2

We just sent off a whole batch of videos to be preserved as part of the Living Archive preservation project.


Videos of interviews conducted by the My Encounter project in Betacam format are being prepared to be logged before shipping

When we initially set out on this enourmous journey of the preservation project we realized that we would have to prioritize some of our collections over others in terms of what gets done first, primarily because time is of the essence when it comes to preservation. So the criteria was based on two factors: 1. Tape condition, age and vulnerability and 2. Content priority.

We have now launched our final sprint to the finish line to complete the preservation of all tier one media. Much of tier one has been preserved, backed up and being used daily in our media management tools by our production staff, but some small collections of various formats still remanied.

We've also included a number of tier two tapes in this push, most notably, the early My Encounter with the Rebbe oral history testimonies -- those which were recorded on tape (all new interviews are recorded in HD directly to hard drive).

So the vast majority of this batch consist of interviews conducted by the My Encounter with the Rebbe project between the years 2000 and 2006 in the analog format of Betacam video tape.

Our task begun with calling in all necessary videos from our offsite storage facility where they keep our tapes in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

The next step was to confirm that all tapes being sent are in fact the original master tapes and not dubs as in the past there were many instances where we made copies of tapes so we can send the originals back to safe storage.

Archivist Shloime Morosow analyzing the situation

Next would of course be to catalogue what's being sent out and to communicate that with our vendor.


Archivist and researcher Motti Hazan comparing tapes to inventory list

After that we securely package everything and send it off to our preservation specialists.


Container snugly filled with Betacam tapes

In cases of X-ray scanning in airport security, a special request needs to be made for a different procedure in order to prevent damage to the magnetic media


And sometimes we have to remind people not to let their curiosity carry them to places they don't belong

All packed and ready to go, wait, this is only half of the shipment

What next? good question, it's actually the usual, once the videos have been preserved and the digital media sent back to us, the following process begins:

1. Quality control, confirming preservation has reached satisfactory level

2. Storage and backup, on servers and multiple copies of LTO tapes which are stored offsite

3. Ingestion into media management system

4. Metadata tagging begins, we do this in many rounds, starting from the most important information down to the most minute

This is obviously a brief description of the process, we hope to discuss each stage with greater detail in future posts.



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