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Why put off to tomorrow, what someone else can do today?


by Adam Hodgkinson

 

Joe will be presenting at the 2011 SEAPAVAA conference being held in KL, Malaysia starting on June 6. The presentation considers questions surrounding outsourcing preservation and digitisation projects.

 

Following is an overview of the presentation.

 

Preservation processes for audiovisual media are at a crossroads as we move from well-understood physical media like film and videotape to the relatively infant digital age. Long standing, well documented and knowledge rich tape-to-tape and film-to-film preservation practices are no longer the benchmark in a time of fast moving digital technology. Collection owners and custodians are now faced with an entirely new set of challenges in preserving AV media.

 

Organisations have to come to terms with the need for specialist knowledge and technologies required to migrate collections from magnetic tape and film in to a digital medium. There are significant decisions to be made around technology, budget and process, with considerations for both now, and importantly, for the future. An understanding of requirements, the development of business cases and the commissioning of technologies can take years, and that is before migration can even get underway. This can be a daunting task at a time when many archives and museums are looking to fast track contemporary and more efficient AV collection management strategies.  

               

For many organisations, these changes, underscored by the need to access and preserve collections, raise an interesting question – should we consider outsourcing digitisation projects?

 

In our presentation we look to answer some of the questions around the benefits of outsourcing preservation, and what any AV Archive should look for in an outsourcing partner.

 

  • Why not do it ourselves?

Organisations need to consider capital costs, the baffling technology - both old and new, stakeholder management, lack of technical skills and expertise in old and new technologies, where’s it all going to go and the long internal project timeframes.

 

  • What makes them so special?

The decision to outsource AV reformatting and/or preservation work to a specialised project partner can deliver all the required outcomes for a more affordable price, and certainly in a much more manageable and realistic timeframe.

 

  • Selecting a Partner

Once a decision has been taken to outsource part or all of your AV preservation requirements, what do you need to look for when selecting a service provider or project partner to achieve your goals. There’s a lot at risk - picking a vendor not a partner can be costly.

 

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