During the summer, I interned at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The internship was actually divided between two locations on campus, the Woodson Research Center (WRC) and the Digital Media Commons (DMC). The first part of the internship was conducted at the WRC, Rice’s special collections library, where the Rice U. Audio-Visual Collection is housed. This collection contains 41 boxes (approximately 900 items) full of material ranging from Shellac Discs to 500 GB Hard Drives. Most of the material, however, was on videotape. After an initial visual inspection of the items in the collection, I created a box-level log which indicated what formats were in each box. I also rated each item in terms of its age and obsolescence. Finally, I listed some recommendations for the archive regarding storage.
Next, I moved on to the DMC where the digitization of certain formats occurs. The DMC is equipped to digitize VHS tapes, audiocassette tapes, floppy disks, vinyl record albums, and DVCam videotapes. After selecting a sample of 36 items from the collection, I began digitizing them. This process began by researching into the best possible digital file format that Rice could use to create a digital master file. At the same time, I also had to determine what kind of software the DMC used and what kind of digital file they could create. Based on the DMC’s use of Final Cut Pro, it was determined that an interim master digital file would be created using a QuickTime wrapper. However, this is only intended to be used until such time that Rice University is able to fully support the JPEG2000/MXF format.
Finally, we will create derivative files which will be used for user access. This part of the project is not yet underway. Also, I am in the process of contacting vendors who can digitize the material that is unable to be done in-house, as well as clean the VHS tapes which contain mold.