Indiana University says it will preserve its “irreplaceable” collections of 635,000 sound, video and film recordings as part of its Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative. The collections are currently stored in 50 formats and are housed in 80 units across the IU Bloomington, IUPUI and regional campuses.
The formats include cassettes tapes, CD-R, open-reel, VHS, U-matic videotapes, Betamax, lacquer discs, wire recordings and wax cylinders.
IU says some of the recordings include language, music, audio from Orson Welles’ famed Mercury Theatre radio performances and interviews with female newspaper editors in the 1970s.
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The official opening of IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI) takes place on October 21, 2015, with a special event to be held during the Statewide IT conference on the IU Bloomington campus.
U is also working on how people will access the recordings once they are preserved. IU Libraries is partnering with Northwestern University Libraries, which has similar needs, to build what’s known as the Avalon Media System. Avalon is an open-source system for managing and providing access to large collections of digital audio and video. The hope is that by late October, members of the public will be able to access selected pieces in the collection that do not have copyright concerns and have been approved by legal counsel.