May 18, 2022

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Plans to Digitize More AV Material and Hire Digitization Consultant

From the National Library of Medicine (via

National Library of Medicine (NLM), Preservation and Collection Management Section (PCM) seeks the services of a qualified consultant to provide advice and recommendations on all aspects of digitizing audiovisuals in NLM’s collections, including the technical requirements for a new purchase order to produce preservation master and derivative files and internal workflows for inspecting and processing the newly created files.


Since 2001, NLM has been preserving films and videos by making Betacam SP analog videotape copies. In addition, NLM currently creates access files from DVD copies for a small number of selected titles.

In 2015, NLM plans to begin digitizing films and ¾” U-Matic videocassettes for preservation and access on an ongoing basis. An estimated 2,300 films (mostly 16mm, but including a few 35mm) from the mid-1940s to mid-1970s and about 3,800 U-Matic tapes from about 1970 to 1988, will qualify for digitization based on NLM selection criteria. (A small number of other video formats may also be digitized, such as 1″ open reel, VHS, Betacam SP, DVD, etc.) Initially, NLM will digitize only titles that are in the public domain, pending resolution of copyright issues.

NLM plans to award a separate purchase order to a vendor to create preservation master and derivative files. In the first year, the plan is to digitize 100 titles, thereafter gradually increasing to about 400 titles per year.

Details about the project can be found in the two documents embedded below.

NLM AV Consultant Services SOW

NLM Technical Evaluation Criteria – AV Consultant

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.