Volume 10 (2021-22)

Each volume of Journal of Digital Media Management  consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 10 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The Articles published in Volume 10 include:

Volume 10 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers
    Lessons learned: Collaborating to digitise Yiddish-language collections at Cornell
    Barbara Morley, Digital Archivist (retired), Steven Calco, Research Archivist and Elizabeth Parker, Technical Services Archivist, Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives, Cornell University

    This paper describes a grant-funded collaboration between Cornell University Library, the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives, Digital Consulting and Production Services, and faculty members from Cornell’s Jewish Studies Program to select, digitise, describe and disseminate English and Yiddish-language records created between 1930 and 1953 by the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order division of the International Workers Order. To serve researchers in the Yiddish-language community as well as English readers, Yiddish-language documents were partially translated and transliterated to reduce the language barrier and facilitate discovery and analysis. The project required a wide variety of specialists to communicate effectively and negotiate goals, workflows and standards. As this paper discusses, responsibilities such as file and document management, metadata creation and review, and quality control are especially demanding when working with documents composed of a language and alphabet that most of the project participants do not understand. Challenges and opportunities encouraged collaborators to re-evaluate and redesign certain existing workflows, and reaffirmed the benefit of others. The online dissemination of the records has opened access to a global audience, promoting scholarly work based on the digitised records along with greater interest in related analogue collections.
    Keywords: Yiddish, digitisation, project management, metadata, quality control, labour archives, collaboration

  • Establishing an archive asset management system at the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority
    Jean-Christophe Kummer, Managing Director and Silvester Stöger, Project and Account Manager, Archive Asset Management, NOA GmbH

    This paper describes the establishment of a video-tape digitisation factory and an archive asset management system at the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, in the United Arab Emirates. It explains the context for the decision to adopt in-house digitisation, along with the arguments for adopting the proposed solution. Special focus is put on the preservation process, cataloguing needs, integration with production asset management systems, multi-site setup and disaster recovery solutions.
    Keywords: case study, archive asset management, digitisation, requirements, implementation, disaster recovery

  • Building international partnerships for digitisation and preservation
    Rachel Deblinger, Director of the Modern Endangered Archives Program, Jennifer Osorio, Head of International and Area Studies, Sharon E. Farb, Associate University Librarian for Distinctive Collections and Todd Grappone, Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives, Research and Development, UCLA Library

    For the past decade, the UCLA Library’s International Digital Ephemera Project and Modern Endangered Archives Program have worked to create open access collections of international content through post-custodial partnerships. This paper details the work of those initiatives to support communities, archivists, librarians and researchers around the world to set priorities, understand complex legal issues and provide training and technology for cultural heritage preservation where content is at most risk. This paper describes how the UCLA Library works alongside a growing network of partners to preserve and present diverse voices and perspectives on global events and ensure community narratives about individual and collective experiences are accessible. This paper details both the ethic of care that informs the library’s work and the infrastructure that enables access and discovery to these community collections as it improves and expands the scope of these programmes.
    Keywords: post-custodial, community-building, digital archives, international, open access

  • My TV lies over the ocean: The digitisation of France’s overseas heritage
    Geneviève Abadie, Project Manager and Brice Amouroux, Deputy Head, Technical Department, INA, Gérard Letienne, Founder and Honorary President, Vectracom and Sandrine Boulon, Linguist, Reverso-Softissimo

    This paper describes the successes and setbacks of a 12-year project to digitise over 150,000 hours of audiovisual footage from France’s overseas territories. After a brief overview of the major milestones of the project, the paper focuses on technical and metadata processing issues, and the various unexpected problems that were faced along the way.
    Keywords: mass digitisation, metadata alignment, itinerant technical facility, damages audiovisual carriers

  • The digitisation and commercial licensing of local television news as a model for preservation and access: A case study
    Anna Esparza, Digitization and Metadata Specialist, University of North Texas and Morgan Davis Gieringer, Head of Special Collections, University of North Texas Libraries

    Since 2014, the Special Collections Department of the University of North Texas Libraries (UNTL) has worked to digitise over 60 years’ worth of historical film and video and provide online digital access to news programming that was originally broadcast under the name WBAP-TV, and later NBC 5/KXAS-TV. Revenue from commercial licensing is expected to contribute an increasingly significant percentage of the funding needed to make the collection fully digitally accessible. This paper looks briefly at the history of the NBC5 news collection and examines the workflows required to prepare film and video for digitisation, perform quality control on digital files, and apply metadata keywords and content description to make footage easier for filmmakers to discover online. The paper will also discuss the licensing workflows in place at UNTL and how footage has been licensed for use in a variety of projects.
    Keywords: news film, videotape, digitisation, digital workflows, commercial licensing, special collections

  • Artificial intelligence for a role change in television archives: The Atresmedia–Etiqmedia experience
    Eugenio López de Quintana, Head of Archive, Atresmedia Corporación de Medios de Comunicación and Antonio León Carpio, Managing Director and Founder, Etiqmedia

    Given the increasing volume of audiovisual content being produced, combined with the growing demand for granularity in image searches, it is becoming increasingly impractical for television archives to catalogue their collections without automatic processing and artificial intelligence technologies. This paper describes a pioneering project to implement such technologies.
    Keywords: automation, information processing, artificial intelligence, audiovisual content, television archives, media content, speech recognition, facial recognition

  • Overcoming barriers to audiovisual preservation in cultural heritage institutions
    Biz Maher Gallo, Statewide Digitization Initiatives Coordinator, Library of Michigan and Sarah Mainville, Media Preservation Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries

    This paper provides an overview of the issues that organisations face with regard to the preservation of the analogue audiovisual material in their archival collections. It discusses what stewards can do right now to take better care of their collections, as well as to provide resources for training and funding opportunities. The paper gives particular attention to inventories, preservation planning, storage and funding.
    Keywords: audiovisual, preservation, digitisation, media, under-funded

Volume 10 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers
    Automation and integration are the keys to successful digital asset management
    Paul Murphy, Digital Image Expert, UEFA

    This paper examines how digital asset management at UEFA has grown from a traditional library and archive system to an integral part of the organisation’s ecosystem. It describes the various challenges faced and discusses the lessons learned.
    Keywords: facial recognition, data model, data mapping, sport

  • Eighty years of literary audio archives at the Library of Congress: Preserving collections from the physical to digital
    Kristy Darby, Digital Collections Specialist, Library of Congress, et al.

    This paper reviews the 80-year history of two Library of Congress literary audio archives — the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature and the PALABRA Archive — and details the challenges and opportunities that the dawn of the digital era posed for such collections. Curators and archival professionals who had been accustomed to analogue collection frameworks and workflows began to develop strategies for digitisation and digital access, paving the way for the establishment of the Library’s Digital Content Management Section. This new section’s Digital Collections Management Compendium outlines the institution’s policy and guidance for its digital content managers. New complexities with handling digital files highlighted the need to develop innovative digital processing workflows, as well as the importance of documenting these workflows and techniques for future processing efforts. Continuous documentation and efforts to process digital files have led to increased confidence in utilising scripting for batch processing as well as an improved understanding of the requirements for making this content accessible. The collaboration between literary audio archives curators and digital content managers laid the foundation for similar digital preservation practices that the institution continues to build upon for other projects, and continues to ensure the successful transition of these historic literary collections into the digital era.
    Keywords: audio archives, literature, digital collections, workflows, digital preservation, collaboration, analogue to digital conversion

  • The Olympic World Feed Project: Searching, acquiring and preserving the international television signal of the Olympic Games from 1956 to 1988
    Yasmin Meichtry, Associate Director and Isabel Sánchez, Project Manager, Heritage — Images & Sounds at Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage

    This paper describes the project carried out by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH) to locate, acquire and preserve all official televised coverage (ie the international television signal) of the Olympic Games broadcast between 1956 and 1988. After providing a general overview of the audiovisual archives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which are managed and overseen by the OFCH, and outlining the OFCH’s mission and challenges in this respect, the paper discusses how the television broadcasting of the Olympic Games has evolved and the impact of these developments on the race to repatriate and preserve this content. The paper goes on to discuss the Olympic World Feed Project, describing the planning that went into recovering more than 3,000 hours of content missing from the IOC’s archives, as well as the various steps involved and the numerous challenges faced along the way. In particular, the paper provides a case study of the acquisition of the international television signal produced during the XIV Olympic Winter Games — Sarajevo 1984.
    Keywords: international signal, Olympic Games, Olympic movement, digitisation, preservation, heritage, archives, Olympics

  • The Glastonbury New Bands Competition Collection at the British Library: Technical challenges of migrating an optical disc collection
    Tom Ruane, Preservation Audio Engineer & Trainer, British Library

    The Glastonbury Festival kindly donated the 2004–2009 entries for its Emerging Talent Competition to the British Library for long-term preservation. The collection comprises more than 4,000 optical disks, primarily Compact Disk-Recordable (CD-R), and was migrated to a stable file-based format in 2019, as part of the Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project. Migration presented many challenges — while large parts of the workflow could be automated, and the audio data extracted verifiably bit-perfect and faster than real time, the collection is populated by poor-quality CD-R stock with many examples written using low-quality domestic burners, making the process of data extraction significantly more complex. The Library not only had to develop a multi-stage workflow with sufficient capacity to process the large quantity of disks in an efficient manner, but the workflow also had to be easily adjustable to accommodate the 1:1 transfer of severely damaged or degraded disks. This paper outlines the step-by-step technical workflow and the hardware/software employed to extract this unique content for long-term preservation.
    Keywords: cultural heritage, audio-visual, archive, preservation, compact disk, workflow

  • Validating media quality in a largescale outsourced media migration project: The second layer
    Christoph Bauer, Senior Expert in Research and Development, Österreichischer Rundfunk and Jörg Houpert, Head of Technology, Cube-Tec International

    This paper describes the quality control (QC) processes for a large-scale digital migration project conducted by Österreichischer Rundfunk, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. It provides an overview of the initial requirements and the motivation for introducing an additional, independent QC layer, and describes the implementation process as well as the actual service itself. It draws on first-hand experience to provide a detailed introduction to the technology used for the task. The examples presented and the conclusions drawn provide the reader with the information they need for their own preservation and migration projects.
    Keywords: quality control (QC), video cassette migration, auto QC, MXF file inspection, trusted playback

  • Badge drops and points galore: Crowdsourcing metadata at a public library archive
    Heidi Morse, Library Technician — Archives, Ann Arbor District Library

    This paper discusses two strategies for crowdsourcing metadata at a public library archive: (1) leveraging social media networks to identify people and places in photographs; and (2) gamification techniques for large-scale metadata collection. A comparative approach leads to conclusions about best practices for different contexts and goals. Crowdsourcing initiatives encourage participants to build a relationship with an institution or repository. Smaller-scale crowdsourcing campaigns often succeed not just in collecting metadata, but in drawing in new users. Crowdsourcing via social media can boost community engagement, strengthen partnerships and raise awareness about collection highlights. Larger-scale metadata collection via gamification is more oriented towards individuals and existing users. Designed with user engagement in mind, crowdsourcing via online games can succeed in both digital outreach and metadata collection.
    Keywords: community engagement, crowdsourcing, digital collections, games, metadata, social media

  • The audible and the inaudible in a post-digitised world: Preserving both sound and object
    Lauren Walker, Head of Digital Projects, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

    Analogue audio materials often exhibit indexical traces of recording, editing and playback that offer insight to society’s relationship with recorded sound as it has changed over time. The obsolescence of analogue audio media has rapidly ushered the experience of sound recordings into the digital environment. As archives race to digitise analogue media before the media degrade too far to allow playback, it is important to capture a holistic representation of sound recordings. This paper addresses the challenges to preserve and make accessible the physical and often inaudible content of analogue audio media. The paper outlines approaches to enrich preserved content of audio recordings, especially as data must stand in for a physical encounter with the media, and illustrates ways to enhance the access experience that encourage discovery and research of the creative practices of audio recording.
    Keywords: preservation, digitisation, sound archives, special collections, cultural heritage, sound studies

  • Discovering, describing and digitising CCTV: Challenges and attempts of making New York Chinatown’s community television archive accessible
    Klavier Jie Ying Wang, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation, New York University

    Archives created by and of ethnic minority groups play an important role in the preservation of cultural heritage. However, making such archival materials effectively and openly accessible is not straightforward, not least due to language barriers and the limitations of digitisation. Using the case of a Chinese American audiovisual collection housed at New York University, this article demonstrates the challenges associated with making a historically important archive more visible and accessible. As the article will show, digitisation does not necessarily lead to immediate accessibility. The article discusses ways to elevate archive visibility and accessibility, not simply through technical workflows but also outreach campaigning. Thoughts on granting more open access to ethnic minority archives are also included.
    Keywords: Chinese American, community media, Asian CineVision, CCTV, archival description, video digitisation, archival access