State Library of NSW
Scott Wajon, Manager, Digitisation, State Library of NSW
The State Library of NSW (SLNSW) is the premiere library for the people of NSW. It sits among the world’s great libraries; those that house the evidence of our society’s development and the unfolding stories of humanity. The SLNSW’s extraordinary collections document the heritage of Australia and Oceania; these collections are one of the State’s most valuable assets. Through the library building, preserving and delivering its collections, including today’s born digital materials, the Library enables Australians to explore our past and imagine our future.
In 2012, the SLNSW successfully secured substantial funding to embark on the Digital Excellence Program to digitise a range of collection items that are categorised as iconic, at risk and/or high-value. Incorporated into the Digital Excellence Program was the digitisation and preservation the Library’s significant oral history collection. The Library sought to develop a panel of specialist audio digitisation service providers to partner with, to digitise the audio holdings.
The collection contained over 3,800 items containing over 3330 cassette and more than 470 1/4-inch audiotapes.
SLNSW went to tender and appointed DAMsmart as a digitisation services partner.
We collaborated with the Library team to address project challenges and develop resolutions that were technically appropriate and compliant with the project specifications. We developed tailored audio digitisation workflows to facilitate the safe and professional digitisation of 1/4-inch audiotape and audiocassettes. The workflows incorporate multi-stream encoding to enable audio digitisation at scale.
Underpinning the encoding process are robust quality control programs including file-based monitoring as well as continuous operator monitoring of audio outputs. Conservation services were also delivered to rejuvenate media that was in suboptimal condition. Additionally, digital restoration services have been provided to enhance the quality of degraded media.
DAMsmart successfully digitised in excess of 3,800 audio cassettes and reels over four projects for the SLNSW, all preserved in line with the IASA TC-04 standard.
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