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Audio and Video at Scale: Indiana University’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative


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From the 2014 DLF Forum in Atlanta, GA.

Session Leaders:
Juliet Hardesty, Indiana University
Jon Dunn, Indiana University

In 2013, Indiana University (IU) launched a five-year project, known as the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI:, to digitize and preserve over 300,000 audio and video assets of value from across the university. Among academic institutions, IU has an unusually rich collection of rare and unique time-based media that document subjects of enduring value to the university, State of Indiana, and the world. Pieces range from wax cylinder sound recordings of Native American music to performances by notable graduates of its Jacobs School of Music to media from the collections of IU’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

The project is co-led by IU’s Vice President for Information Technology and Dean of University Libraries. IU is partnering with a commercial vendor, Memnon Archiving Services of Belgium, to set up a facility in Bloomington, Indiana to digitize these materials, in a workflow that will produce as much as 12 terabytes per day of digital data to be preserved beginning in summer 2014.

MDPI was planned out of recognition by IU leadership that large portions of IU’s media holdings were becoming seriously endangered due to media degradation and/or format obsolescence. A 2008-2009 survey of holdings at IU Bloomington ( uncovered over 569,000 audiovisual items on 51 different physical formats held in collections of 80 different organizational units across the campus, with significant quantities of rare and unique items in danger of becoming inaccessible within 5-15 years due to degradation or obsolescence.

In this presentation, we will outline the goals and history of MDPI, describe the workflows that we are establishing to feed content into the digitization process and manage content coming out of the process, and discuss planned strategies for preservation storage, access, and metadata.

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Audio and Video at Scale: Indiana University’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative

  1. 1. 2009 Media Preservation Survey Findings • More than 560,000 audio, video, and film objects are owned by the Bloomington campus on more than 50 formats housed in more than 80 units • Actively degrading, obsolete formats, high risk of loss of content over the next decade • We have a 15- to 20-year window of opportunity to digitally preserve audio and video holdings. 1
  2. 2. 2011 “Meeting the Challenges of Media Preservation” 2 Key Recommendations • Preservation planning • Facility Development • Facility operation and workflow development • Prioritization • Strategies for Film • Technology infrastructure needs • Access • Collaboration Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation: Strategies and Solutions
  3. 3. 2013 Announcement: Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative 3 Goal: Digitize, preserve, provide access to rare and unique audio and video by 2020 – all IU campuses
  4. 4. 4 Public-Private Partnership Memnon Archiving Services Brussels, Belgium
  5. 5. 5 Digitization and Preservation: The Phases Pre-Digitization Digitization Discovery and Access Inventory Catalog Prioritize à Memnon Metadata Batch & Queue IU Operation à Massive parallel digitization Digitization of selected unique and highly vulnerable formats Quality control Rights Issues Technical aspects à Metadata Technical infrastructure Ongoing monitoring and migration Digital Preservation and Storage
  6. 6. 6 Organizational Structure IU Operations Memnon Archiving Services, USA IT Team MDPI Operational Task Force
  7. 7. 7 Bins, Boxes, Barcodes, Batches
  8. 8. 8 Batches: Format Based
  9. 9. wikimedia • Starting with: • William and Gayle Cook Music Library • Archives of Traditional Music • Open reel tapes, DATs, and CD-Rs 9 Preparations wikimedia
  10. 10. MDPI Information Technology Challenges 10 • University Information Technology Services • Indiana University Libraries
  11. 11. Workflow Support: POD 11
  12. 12. What is Memnon sending to us • Preservation Master File • Audio: Broadcast WAV (96/24) • Video: 10-bit uncompressed (QT .mov) • Mezzanine File • Audio: Broadcast WAV (96/24) • Video: 50 Mbps Iframe-only MPEG-2 • Throw-away Access File (for QC) • Audio: MPEG-4 AAC • Video: MPEG-4 H.264 • Metadata • checksums, process history 12
  13. 13. Post-Digitization File Workflow 13 MDPI Item Scholarly Data Archive Automated QC SIP/AIP Preservation Repository Transcoding Access Repository Manual QC ( )
  14. 14. Metadata for Preservation and Access • Descriptive • Library catalog/POD • Technical • File and original object characteristics • Checksums • Process History • Digitization and preservation process • Structural • Support navigation within an object 14
  15. 15. Access Technology 15
  16. 16. Long-Term Preservation Technology • 9 petabytes+ to be preserved • Local storage • UITS Scholarly Data Archive • Fedora 4 repository layer • Out-of-region storage • APTrust, DPN • Data swap agreements 16
  17. 17. MDPI Challenges • Dealing with rights issues at scale • Descriptive metadata and discovery • Quality control strategies for mass digitization • Strategies for born-digital media • Out-of-region preservation storage • Approach for film 17
  18. 18. Questions/Discussion See more at: Reports and background: Digital Library Federation Forum October 27, 2014