DAM delivers for Fiji National Archives

Australia's DAMsmart has been appointed by the Fijian Government to digitise the National Archive’s film and video collection, and to commission a Media Asset Management (MAM) system for the ongoing management and control of the newly created digital assets.

The Fijian National Archive collection comprises of in excess of 2,400 assets, including 16mm film, U-matic and Betacam SP videotapes. The collection exhibits a range of degradation issues such as hydrolysis and vinegar syndrome, with much of the collection suffering from mould infestation, all of which is to be expected of an aging collection maintained in the tropics.

Opeta Alefaio, Director of National Archives of Fiji, said, “We have a responsibility to future generations to preserve our rich heritage to a global standard. The tropical conditions inherent to Fiji have put pressure on our AV collection, and while it has been well managed, we recognise an impending need to migrate the collection to a digital format to mitigate the growing risk associated with obsolete videotape and film media.”

DAMsmart will provide its own professional on-ground packing and temporary collection relocation services. DAMsmart’s comprehensive media conservation and preparation services will be used to repair, refresh and optimise the media prior to migrating the content. Using its proven digitisation workflows, DAMsmart will create a digital collection that incorporates two file types - IMX50 for production purposes and H.264 proxies. 

DAMsmart will commission a MAM configured using CatDV Media Asset Management software, from UK based company Squarebox, for collection access and control. CatDV will be integrated with a StorageDNA LTO archiving platform for storage and management of the high-resolution files. The system will be commissioned on-site at DAMsmart, where the digital collection will be archived directly into the MAM. At the conclusion of the project DAMsmart will recommission the system in Fiji, prepopulated and ready to be utilised.

Joe Kelly, DAMsmart ‘s General Manager, said, “This project is not just about digitisation, we have the responsibility of preserving a nation’s moving image history. There are a number of significant challenges the collection presents mostly associated with the degradation of the original media. ”