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Enhancements to Video Preservation Services

Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services at Harvard Library, shares an update on the future of video preservation.


All of the major Harvard Library repositories count video among their valued holdings, though in some cases these materials are not yet available to the scholarly community due to lack of resources for cataloging and processing. At the same time, these resources are at a high risk of being lost because of format obsolescence, disappearing reproduction technologies, and degrading physical media, as well as data corruption and loss. For media collections, there is only a small window of time globally in which to address preservation. Without a preservation intervention plan implemented in the next 15 years, many of Harvard’s video resources would potentially disappear.

In 2014, Harvard Library Media Preservation Services (MPS) and Digital Preservation Services (DPS) began working on video preservation services for Harvard collections. With the support of Arcadia funding, the Preservation Services team worked with AVPreserve—a consulting firm based in New York with audiovisual expertise—to analyze video formats, metadata, and tools. A developer was hired to enhance the Digital Repository Service (DRS) deposit, management, and delivery tools to support video. In September 2016, a new version of the DRS tools to support the deposit of video was released for testing by MPS.

Later this fall, Harvard Library Media Preservation Services will offer a depositing service for existing digitized video and the DRS Streaming Delivery Service will support the public delivery of video. In early 2017, MPS will launch additional services that provide digitization of tape-based video, as well as guidance, specifications and auxiliary support services for workflows involving external vendors.

Please join us for a brown-bag lunch to discuss these new services on November 10 from 12:00–1:00 pm at 90 Mt. Auburn Street, Room 021. 

By Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services at Harvard Library.

Published on October 26, 2016.