The following is a guest post by Rebecca Fraimow, National Digital Stewardship Resident at WGBH and the AAPB.
As the National Digital Stewardship Resident with WGBH and the AAPB, I’ve backed up a lot of drives, designed a lot of workflow diagrams, and written up a lot of documentation, but for my final deliverable for the residency, I got to do something with a slightly broader focus: create a webinar that focused on digital preservation concepts through the lens of the unique needs of a public broadcasting organization.
Although I’ve spent most of the past year in a public media context, WGBH is pretty unique among public media organizations: we have a strong archival department, and a dedicated budget for preservation. That gives us a lot of opportunities to invest in tools and techniques that most public media organizations aren’t going to have. As a result, creating a webinar about digital preservation best practices from a PB perspective is not just as simple as saying ‘here’s what we do and why we do it’ – while it would be great if all stations had the same level of resources, just getting that level of buy-in is something that most archivally-minded station employees have to fight really hard to make a case for.
Therefore, instead of designing the webinar based around our workflows at WGBH, I sent out an open call for topics to see what the audience of (primarily AAPB) stations really wanted to hear about. I got a wide range of responses:
– where to start when creating a digital library
– best practices for migrating videotape to digital files
– how to manage the volume with a small staff
– tools for embedding metadata into audio and video files
– systems for small organizations with little IT support
– integrity checking, video file standards, naming conventions
– getting producers onboard from the get-go
– how to go back into the archives where proper documentation doesn’t exist
– how to properly use the PBCore field called instantiationStandard
Obviously, I don’t have the answer to all these questions (to be honest, instantiationStandard is kind of a confusing field) and, of course, for many of them, there is no right answer — as I can tell you from the experiences of my entire NDSR cohort, even organizations with huge dedicated preservation departments are still trying to figure out the solutions that make the most sense for them. Next year, the AAPB will be sending a new crop of NDSR residents into public media stations to help grapple with some of these issues, but before finding answers, the first step is figuring out the right questions to ask. The webinar is designed to provide a guide to some of those questions, and an overview of the issues to consider when making a case for digital preservation.
You can view the full webinar below (click on the title to open in a larger screen):
Digital Preservation for Public Broadcasting from American Archive on Vimeo.
The slides are available here: