5 Reasons Why Web-Accessible Archives are Important

We are living in a digital world, we all know it and there is no escaping it. As archivists, we can either get on board with the digital revolution or resist it. But where’s the fun in that? Online archival work has existed since the dawn of the internet, and it is the job of some archivists out there to help create web-accessible platforms for archival materials. Through online archival projects, archivists and curators can push the boundaries of what it means to preserve cultural artifacts and how the public interacts with them. While this process can seem daunting, here are a few reasons why web-accessible archives are excellent for archivists.

1. STORAGE SPACE: Who Needs It?

When we create web-accessible archives, folks do not need to have tons of available physical space in order to have tons of access to information. Through online platforms like the National Archives’ digital exhibitions, people can interact with the information and formats available to cultural institutions without the fuss of finding the actual room for all the physical materials.

2. Reduce Wear and Tear on Archival Objects

Can you imagine if the thousands of folks who interact with online materials were actually using the physical object? One of the drawbacks of non-digital media is that every time you play it, there is wear and tear. When the public has access to digital, public domain copies of media, they can enjoy the media without destroying it.

3. More Contributions to Archival Projects

With projects like The Internet Archive, people from across the world can contribute to this online space. While other cultural institutions are limited by storage space, distance, and scope of projects, iArchive allows for a potentially endless stream of contributions, and thus more of human history can be saved to the archive.

4. Materials Will Not Be Lost to Time

In endeavors like The Great 78 Project, materials that may have been lost or forgotten to time have a second chance at surviving with the internet. Although the original 78 may not be a viable option for replaying or storage, the online accessible 78 can be played on countless times.

5. More People Get to See and Learn From Materials

Archives, special collections, and museums have traditionally been accessible only to academics, students, or folks with enough money to get in. Online archives and special collections make it possible for more people to learn from materials and databases without the limitations of time and money. When we make it possible for more folks to interact with materials, we create an opportunity for more folks to get educated.

 

 

WE'RE HIRING - SHIPPING MANAGER

WE'RE HIRING - SHIPPING MANAGER

The Shipping Manager will be responsible for handling, packing, and receiving materials

to and from clients, some of which may be very fragile (ie, LPs, films, etc). They will

also be expected to maintain the current equipment inventory and transport original

media and equipment between facilities and from various clients along the east coast.

Wisconsin State Journal - More than 1,000 recorded interviews with Wisconsin veterans to be digitized, available online

Wisconsin State Journal - More than 1,000 recorded interviews with Wisconsin veterans to be digitized, available online

Making the recordings available online “gives an opportunity for the collections from smaller communities to shine,” Pfotenhauer said. “Wisconsin has a lot of these great records outside of Madison or Milwaukee, and we can make some of them more visible.”

Dana Gerber-Margie was hired as a temporary staffer for the planning period. She traveled around Wisconsin to assess oral history archives in 22 facilities from Superior to Milwaukee, from Antigo to Richland Center...

WE'RE HIRING - FOR 2 SUMMER 2018 INTERNSHIPS

WE'RE HIRING - FOR 2 SUMMER 2018 INTERNSHIPS

For the summer of 2018, we will offer two six- to eight-week paid internships, one in audiovisual preservation and one in data rescue and recovery. During this period, the interns will gain an understanding of the processes of audiovisual and data preservation reformatting, and have the opportunity to contribute to a particular area of preservation work of their choosing. The internships will each result in a professional level project. Past interns have conducted preservation research and documentation, created shipping and storage guidelines, participated in conservation treatments of materials, and more.

From George Blood - Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S Recording

From George Blood -  Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S Recording

I have no particular interest in sports. Never have. The closest this pointy-headed, bookie, piano & harpsichord player ever came to participating in an organized sport was playing saxophone in the marching band in high school.  Nonetheless, sports is hard to avoid.  About 14 years ago, while I was the engineer at The Philadelphia Orchestra...

Guest Blog - PBPF Fellowship Immersion Roundup

Guest Blog - PBPF Fellowship Immersion Roundup

So how does an archivist learn how to preserve audio and video materials, anyway? Some people (like me) attend a specialized graduate program; others pursue internships or learn on the job. The Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), a new IMLS-funded program from WGBH and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), is trying to combine a little of Column A with a little of Column B. Through the PBPF, the WGBH is collaborating with universities and public broadcasting stations around the country to provide semester-long graduate Fellowships for currently-enrolled students to get hands-on experience in audio and video preservation.

The first five Fellows begin their projects this week – but before getting thrown into the deep end...

From George Blood - All Music Was Once New

From George Blood - All Music Was Once New

Like most people, like most companies, the work we do has changed over the years. When we started preserving audio collections in 1990, copying to ¼” analog tape was the standard. Digital was still a new, uncertain thing. Audiovisual and data preservation is now the bulk of what we do. Prior to 1990 most of our work was in recording classical music on location – live concerts and CDs. I worked with The Philadelphia Orchestra for 21 year and have recorded over 4,000 live concerts, half with The Fabulous Philadelphians. Though our preservation business has grown more quickly, we still record a lot of classical music.

The Outline - THE GREAT 78 PROJECT IS PRESERVING OUR SONIC PAST

The Outline - THE GREAT 78 PROJECT IS PRESERVING OUR SONIC PAST

George Blood runs a studio in Philadelphia piled high with audio-visual equipment. But among all that equipment, Blood has a special four-armed turntable that makes him the perfect candidate to permanently archive the hundreds of thousands of random, discarded 78 rpm records amassed by The Internet Archive. It's an ecclectic batch of audio from another time. Blood and his team of archivists are finding new historical artifacts every day, and making sure that they'll be playable well into the future.

In a special episode of our podcast, The Outline World Dispatch, Zoë Beery reports from Philadelphia about how the Great 78 Project plans to preserve our aural history for generations to come.

From George Blood - Heading To AMIA Conference 2017

From George Blood - Heading To AMIA Conference 2017

This week we’ll be heading to the Association of Moving Image Archivists [www.amianet.org] for their annual conference. Joining me are Biz Gallo, Manager of Audiovisual Preservation, Sarah Mainville, registrar, and Nora Egloff, Data Storage Managers. We have two special things to look forward to at the conference. Biz will be giving her first professional presentation since joining our staff. And at Thursday morning’s plenary I will present the first George Blood LP Women in Audiovisual Archiving and Technology Scholarship.

From George Blood - Are your audiovisual archival records safe?

From George Blood - Are your audiovisual archival records safe?

In many ways, in most ways, AV artifacts are like any others you’ll encounter in libraries, archives, and museums. All the basics of care and handling apply – lower temperature, lower humidity, lower UV, lower dust, proper containers, gentle handling. Though the specifics may vary, the big picture does not.

Looking back on the history of what is now George Blood Audio/Video/Film/Data, our first identity in the archives community, Safe Sound Archive, is in climate controlled storage

From George Blood - Welcome Our New Hires (NOV)

From George Blood - Welcome Our New Hires (NOV)

Please welcome two new hires, Jenna Fleming and Rafiq Young, who have joined us this month.

Rafiq is our new Shipping Manager.  He is a Philly creative who dabbles in everything from painting to experimenting with micro computers. Also enjoys showing his 4 year old the wonders of 80’s animated cartoons! 

Jenna Fleming is our new Audiovisual Project Manager.  She is interested in the digital humanities and her research experience involves written correspondence in the First World War.

We're Hiring - Disc Digitization Engineer (second shift)

We're Hiring - Disc Digitization Engineer (second shift)

Applicants new to the trade will work with senior staff and Production Supervisor for training
and supervision; experienced applicants will be expected to work independently after training
on our systems; understanding of basic audio signal flow recommended, but not required.
Responsibilities:

  • Prepares audio media for digitization
  • Aligns playback and record parameters
  • Digitizes media
  • Gathers and logs technical, process, and descriptive metadata
  • Takes photographs of audio media
    • Discs (mostly 78rpm)

Learn More...

From George Blood - Radio Preservation Taskforce Conference at Library of Congress Recap

From George Blood - Radio Preservation Taskforce Conference at Library of Congress Recap

I’ve spent the last few days at the Library of Congress for the Radio Preservation Taskforce conference. The organizing committee, and Josh Shepherd in particular, deserves high praise for the range of topics and voices that were heard. Unlike most conferences where a few people sport long PowerPoint presentations, this one had many short talks. Sessions covered acquisition, preservation, born digital, commercial radio, engagement, and future plans for the RPT. I confess to belonging to a large group of presenters who whined, “How is this supposed to work?” I enjoyed not only the range of topics and voices heard, but the high level of civility and respect. Whether presenter, discussant, or audience member, everyone kept their comments brief and on point, with respectful and thoughtful exchanges. All the sessions were recorded, some of the live-streamed, and will be available from their website.

https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-plan/about-this-program/radio-preservation-task-force/

Here are a few experiences that made the event worthwhile for me...