Here’s a new text and video report from CNN.
The center occupies the Packard Campus, a former bunker for storing federal currency, and measures an amazing 415,000 square feet. Its artifacts are housed in dozens of temperature-controlled vaults and on 90 miles of storage shelves.
With more than 5 million items, it’s an impressive collection. There’s just one problem: Despite the best efforts of preservationists, some of them are physically decaying and in danger of being lost forever.
“Any physical artifact is just that, a physical artifact,” said Mike Mashon, head of the Library of Congress’ moving section. “These things can shrink, they can fade, they can crumble to dust in less than a lifetime.”
The solution, said Mashon, is to convert these artifacts to digital files. It’s an exhaustive job. Between 1.5 million film, television and video items, and another 3.5 million sound recording
“We have this entire campus … for the preservation of the audio-visual heritage of the United States,” said Gregory Lukow, chief of the library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound division.
“We’re still acquiring very large-scale collections,” he added. “It forces us to think very deeply about how we prioritize what we choose to put through this incredible technological machinery. That’s a big challenge, and it means that we’ll be at it for decades because we have more than we’re capable of putting through the production pipelines at this time.”
Direct to National Jukebox (Mentioned in Article)