January 24, 2022

Digital Preservation: Take a Brief Video Tour of the Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center Library in Culpeper, Virginia

Here’s a new text and video report from CNN.

From the Text Article (Video is Embedded Below):

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.”

Learn More About Preserving the LC’s AV Collections

Learn More About Digital Preservation

Direct to National Jukebox (Mentioned in Article)

See Also: Upcoming Expansion Plans for LC’s National Jukebox of Historic Recordings (May 25, 2014)

CNN Video

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.