National Library archives video

Canberra based media digitisation and archiving business DAMsmart has announced the commencement of a project to digitise and preserve the videotape holdings of the National Library of Australia (NLA).

The NLA holds a significant collection of videotapes on a wide variety of formats. The age of the collection, and the fact that many of the formats held by the Library are now obsolete or near obsolete, has driven the requirement to identify a suitable preservation process for the collection.

Kevin Bradley, Curator and Director of Sound and Audiovisual Preservation at NLA, says the service offered by DAMsmart meets the strict requirements for preservation of video collections for National collecting institutions.

“The Staff at DAMsmart understand requirements for a long term preservation outcome when digitising media collections. Their use of open standards for both encoding and archiving, their ability to conserve and get the best out of deteriorating original media, and the quality control systems and processes in place at DAMsmart ensure the provision of the best possible digital copies and documentation for the Library to integrate these items into their long term digital preservation strategies”.

DAMsmart will be providing the NLA’s digitised collection in a mathematically lossless JPEG2000 format. The JPEG2000 format provides the NLA with a standardised and internationally recognised method to preserve valuable audiovisual archives.

For both preservation as well as quality assurance purposes, the DAMsmart process also generates extensive XML metadata including frame-by-frame analysis of key video and audio parameters ensuring the integrity of the NLA’s audiovisual collection is maintained to the highest standard for generations to come. The digitised content will be archived to LTO4 tapes in uncompressed, non-proprietary TAR format, enabling open exchange of data.

DAMsmart is an organisation dedicated to providing cost effective solutions for the digitisation of content for preservation and commercial purposes.

“We have developed a sophisticated and large-scale audiovisual migration platform that utilizes SAMMA technology to undertake the digital encoding function of the migration workflow, which is a first for Australia. ” says Joe Kelly, DAMsmarts Media Migration Manager.

“Our platform can migrate a compressive range of videotape and film formats into multiple digital file formats simultaneously and in real time, affording us the ability to meet the needs of the NLA, and guarantee a professional and effective service.”