Please find a non-exhaustive list of digital professionals that may be of interest to you. NOTE that this page is not updated.
If you are new to the world of digital preservation, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of technical terms and professional practices to contend with, and the fact that standards never seem to stay in place for very long. Fortunately, there is a large number of online resources related to digital preservation available. To help you get started, we have made this by no means exhaustive overview of (social) networks.
Groups on LinkedIn
There are many useful digital preservation related groups to be found on LinkedIn. Most of them are member-only groups, so you should request access when you're not in.
- AMIA is a group designed for and limited to members of AMIA: "from those who work solely with moving images to organizations where moving images are only a small part of their collection to individuals who want to protect their personal collection - home movies or small gauge or video - to all those concerned with losing our visual heritage". Through this group the members exchange all kinds of information concerning audiovisual heritage.
- Archives Professionals's main purposes are to form an international network, and to share knowledge on archival matters between archivists and other information professionals.
- Audiovisual Heritage Network is a group "aimed to stimulate international cooperation in the field of audiovisual heritage".
- AV_Archiving NL (partly in Dutch) is a group for "exchanging of knowledge and information on all aspects of audiovisual archiving and audiovisual archives". The group is mainly aimed at audiovisual heritage archiving profossionals.
- Digital Curation is a group where members discuss digital curation: the "conceptualising, creating, accessing and using, appraising and selecting, disposing, ingesting, preserving, reappraising, storing, accessing and reusing, and transforming" of digital information.
- EBU Technology & Innovation is set up "to help members navigate the sometimes difficult landscape of media technology. Group discussions cover trends and innovation and include topics such as media production strategies, media information management, future audio formats and radio production systems, future networks and storage, quality control, UHDTV, Agile software collaboration, broadcast internet services, distribution strategies, digital radio platforms, sustainable technology in broadcasting and more".
- ENUMERATE is a group around statistical data on Europe's digital heritage. It "aims to improve the availability, quality, accuracy and relevance of such data, thus supporting and driving strategic decision-making at European, National and Institutional level and resulting in more efficient and targeted development of services, better use of public investment and ultimately a better quality of engagement for online users".
- Europeana is a way to connect and share with others that are "passionate about bringing Europe’s cultural heritage to the [digital] world". Members of this group "share ideas and achievements (incl. papers, recommendations, events), initiate dialog on relevant themes and help shape and promote good practices in the world of digital cultural heritage".
- European Audiovisual Observatory provides "media professionals, whether working in TV, film, DVD/video or the new media industries market and legal information on these industries in Europe".
- Film and TV Archive Professionals is a group where archive professionals share their news and knowledge.
- Information Technologies and Cultural Heritage aims "to gather researchers and practitioners working in the application of information technologies to the management of and research on cultural heritage".
- Museums in the Digital Age is a networking group "for those interested and involved in discussing, developing, dreaming, praising and cursing the possibilities for museums (and similar institutions) in the digital age".
- OpenAIRE is a large-scale initiative "that aims to promote open scholarship and substantially improve the discoverability and reusability of research publications and data". The initiative and this group "bring together professionals from research libraries, open scholarship organisations, national e-Infrastructure and data experts, IT and legal researchers, showcasing the truly collaborative nature of this pan-European endeavor".
- AV Preserve are a US-based consultation company who work in partnership with organisations to implement digital information preservation and dissemination plans. They have an amazing ‘papers and presentation’ section of their website, which includes research about diverse areas such as assessing cloud storage, digital preservation software, metadata, making an institutional case for digital preservation, managing personal archives, primers on moving image codecs, disaster recovery and many more. AV Preserve have developed a number of open source collection management tools such as the AVCC Inventory and Collection Management Tool (2015) and the Cost of Inaction calculator. Their website also has a regularly updated blog.
- Indiana University Bloomington Media Preservation Initiative is another good US-based resource. For academic institutions who want to see an example of a large digital preservation strategy in action, the publication Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation: Strategies and Solutions, will be very useful.
- The US Library of Congress’ blog The Signal is regularly updated by a number of different authors and is full of interesting perspectives. While exploring this site you should also check out the NDSA’s National Agenda for Digital Stewardship which nicely summarises many of the latest perceived challenges for digital preservation. As ever, the site also includes information about tools that are of interest to the digital preservation community as well as resources about digital file format sustainability.
- If you want less tech-intensive forays into the world of digital preservation, Preservation Underground based at Duke University, the British Library’s Sound and Vision blog, Kate Theimar’s ArchivesNext, Library Preservation 2, the websites of Bill LeFurgy and Trevor Owens are good places to visit.
- The Digital Preservation Coalition‘s website is full of excellent resources including a digital preservation jargon buster, case studies, preservation handbook and a ‘what’s new’ section. The Technology Watch Reports are particularly useful. Of relevance to the work Great Bear do is the ‘Preserving Moving Pictures and Sound’, but there are many others including Intellectual Property and Copyright, Preserving Metadata and Digital Forensics. Also check out the fully revised second edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook (2015).
- Jisc Digital Media offer consultancy, training and advice on all things digital. They have recently published their High Level Digitisation Guide for Audiovisual Resources InfoKit, which includes detailed information about planning and delivering complex digitisation projects.
- Preservation Guide Wiki – Set up initially by Richard Wright, BBC as early as 2006, the wiki provides advice on getting started in audiovisual digital preservation, developing a strategy at institutional and project based levels. The Preservation guide has been added to the PrestoCentre Resources Archive in 2017.
- The European Archival Records and Knowledge Preservation (E-Ark) project promises to collect important research about the sustainability of digital archives across Europe. The website is currently being developed so don’t expect much from it, but it is good to know this research is happening.
- Digital Preservation Tools @ the National Archives – On this page you can download a number of tools developed by the The Digital Preservation and Digital Repository Infrastructure teams at The National Archives including CSV Schema and CSV Validator, UTF-8 Validator and DROID – File Type Identification Tool.
- Northeast Document Conservation Centre (USA) – Digital Preservation Reading List, a detailed annotated bibliography has been compiled to acquaint readers withy the challenges associated with developing a digital preservation plan and repository, and successful strategies for overcoming those challenges.
- The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) is a free online tool that helps collection managers prioritize efforts to improve conditions of collections. It is specifically designed to help organisations who have no prior training in digital preservation. Includes extensive format identification guide. New as of 2015, it is the most up to date resource of this nature.
- To explore the wider context for digital preservation, take a look at this Digital Technology Preservation Timeline developed by Cornell University.
- Europeana’s Report and Recommendations from the Task Force on Metadata Quality (2015) is a detailed document about the production of metadata geared toward the cultural heritage sector.
- The Pericles Project ‘aims to address the challenge of ensuring that digital content remains accessible in an environment that is subject to continual change.’ The website has a blog, video and an archive of outputs from the EU-funded project that runs from 2013-2017.
- PREFORMA project aims to address the challenge of implementing good quality standardised file formats for preserving data content in the long term. The main objective is to give memory institutions full control of the process of the conformity tests of files to be ingested into archives. Advocates for FFV1 and Matroska standardisation for video.
- The National Digital Stewardship Residency New York is a programme that aims to advance professional development in digital preservation. The project has an excellent blog that includes posts from residents participating in the programme. A great place to learn about the ‘bleeding edge’ of best practice in the area.
Magnetic Tape / AV Preservation
- The A/V Artifact Atlas is a community-generated resource for people working in digital preservation and aims to identify problems that occur when migrating tape-based media. The Atlas is made in a wiki-format and welcomes contributions from people with expertise in this area – ‘the goal is to collectively build a comprehensive resource that identifies and documents AV artifacts.’ The Atlas was created by people connected to the Bay Area Video Coalition, a media organisation that aims to inspire ‘social change by empowering media makers to develop and share diverse stories through art, education and technology.’
- The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives’ website has a wealth of resources related to best practice AV archiving. They publish a bi-annual journal and widely referenced special publications such as Handling and Storage of Audio and Video Carriers. IASA also organise an annual conference.
- You can download the ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation here, a practical introduction to caring for and preserving audio collections. It is aimed at individuals and institutions that have recorded sound collections but lack the expertise in one or more areas to preserve them.
- The British Library’s Manual of analogue audio restoration techniques written by Peter Copeland is designed as an aid to audio engineers and audio archivists.
- Richard Hess is a US-based audio restoration expert. Although his website looks fairly clunky, he is very knowledgeable and well-respected in the field, and you can find all kinds of esoteric tape wisdom on there.
- The National Technology Alliance’s Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling: A Guide for Libraries and Archives by Dr. John W.C. Van Bogart (1995) is an excellent resource, written in non-technical language and explores the kinds of things that can go wrong with magnetic tape (and how to avoid it!)
- Österreichische Mediathek have produced a number of excellent articles under the heading Audio/Video Encoding in Archiving Context. Of particular note, especially for people confused about video codecs and containers, is ‘Comparing Video Codecs and Containers for Archives.’
- The Scart website contains many articles and resources related to AV heritage, including ‘A Short Guide to Choosing a Digital Format for Video Archiving Masters.’
- The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia have produced an in-depth online Preservation Guide. It includes a film preservation handbook, an audiovisual glossary, advice on caring for your collection and disaster management.
- The US-based Video Preservation Website has an amazing Library of Video History, Science and Technology with PDFs of books such as The Video Guide by Charles Besinger and historic documents relating to digital preservation.
- The British Library’s Playback and Recording Equipment directory is well worth looking through. Organised chronologically (from 1877 – 1990s), by type and by model, it includes photos, detailed descriptions and you can even view the full metadata for the item. So if you ever wanted to look at a Columbia Gramophone from 1901 or a SONY O-matic tape recorder from 1964, here is your chance!
- Vintage Technics – Russian site of a personal collection of extremely rare tape recorders, radios, televisions and detective recording devices.
- The Museum of Obsolete Media, affiliated with the Media Archaeology Lab is an online directory of, yes you’ve guessed it, obsolete media. It includes information about audio, video, data and file formats. The curator of the site points to the site Lost Formats as a strong inspiration for his work.
- Project C-90: An ultimate audio tape guide is an impressive collection of different brands of compact, micro and mini-cassettes.
- The Tape Tardis offers a useful inventory of audio cassettes organised into tape type (e.g., normal bias, chrome, ferro-chrome and metal) and brands.
- MediaConch is an open source AV preservation project currently being developed by the MediaArea team are ‘dedicated to the further development of the standardization of the Matroska and FFV1 formats to ensure their longevity as a recommended digital preservation file format’. Also check out the blog.
- For those interested in code and AV archiving be sure to visit the personal websites of Ashley Blewer, Dave Rice and Kieran O’Leary.
- In 2005 UNESCO declared 27 October to be World Audiovisual Heritage Day. The web pages are an insight into the way audiovisual heritage is perceived by large, international policy bodies.
- Be sure to take advantage of the 35 open access digital heritage articles published by Routledge. The articles are from the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Archives and Records, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, Archives and Manuscripts and others.
- The Digital Curation Centre works to support Higher Education Institutions to interpret and manage research data. Again, this website is incredibly detailed, presenting case studies, ‘how-to’ guides, advice on digital curation standards, policy, curation lifecycle and much more.
- Europeana is a multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections.
Digital Preservation Tools and Software
- For open source digital preservation software check out The Open Planets Foundation (OPF), who address core digital preservation challenges by engaging with its members and the community to develop practical and sustainable tools and services to ensure long-term access to digital content. The website also includes the very interesting Atlas of Digital Damages
- SCAPE – Scalable Preservation Environments ‘develops scalable services for planning and execution of institutional preservation strategies on an open source platform that orchestrates semi-automated workflows for large-scale, heterogeneous collections of complex digital objects.’ Visit their software for digital preservation tools here.
- Archivematica is a free and open-source digital preservation system that is designed to maintain standards-based, long-term access to collections of digital objects.
- Community Owned Digital Preservation Tool Registry – ‘COPTR is also an initiative to collate the knowledge of the digital preservation community on preservation tools in one place. Instead of organisations competing against each other with their own registries, COPTR is bringing them together. In doing so it’s objective is to provide the best resource for practitioners on digital preservation tools.’ Also check out the tool grid generator designed to help practitioners identify and select tools that they need to solve digital preservation challenges.
- Mediainfo is a very useful open source software tool that displays technical and tag data for video and audio files.
- BWF MetaEdit permits the embedding, editing, and exporting of metadata in Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF) files. This tool can also enforce metadata guidelines developed by the Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group, as well as recommendations and specifications from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Microsoft, and IBM.
- The BBC’s R & D Archive is an invaluable resource of white papers, research and policy relating to broadcast technology from the 1930s onwards. As the website states, ‘whether it’s noise-cancelling microphones in the 1930s, the first transatlantic television transmission in the 1950s, Ceefax in the 1970s, digital radio in the 1990s and HD TV in the 2000s, or the challenge to “broadcasting” brought about by the internet and interactive media, BBC Research & Development has led the way with innovative technology and collaborative ways of working.’
- IRENE technology, developed by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in the US, applies a digital imaging approach to audio preservation. IRENE currently works with fragile media such as Wax cylinders, Lacquer discs (a.k.a., “acetate” discs), Aluminum transcription discs, Shellac discs, Tin foils and other rare formats (e.g., Dictabelt, Voice-O-Graph, etc.).