My internship for the project, Video at Risk: Strategies for Preserving Commercial Video Collections in Research Libraries, was conducted with the support of the Mellon Foundation in the spring semester of 2011. During the internship period, two main tasks were assigned to interns: 1) research into the preservation of analog video closed captioning; and, 2) working with Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department's video lab, in a variety of support roles towards the digitization process of video tapes.
For the former, interns developed and conducted an experiment to test the preservation robustness of closed caption contents in analog VHS signals through digitization workflows, with specific attention to extraction and decoding. From this research, interns augmented their technological knowledge about analog closed captioning technology and came to understand the crucial need to preserve the data of VHS, and other analog video formats, in using new digital technologies.
In the video lab, interns learned how to migrate a variety of analog video tapes to digital formats such as DVDs, files, and Digital Betacam, and learned to create metadata on the completed contents using the FinalCut program. Also, interns made inventories and machine profiles for equipment in the video, audio, SAMMA, and HD labs at NYU-Libraries, which helped us understand how best to document the preservation environment with various analog and digital machines, and what kind of information should be documented for long-term transparency's sake.
Overall, the Video at Risk internship helped me to improve my practical detective skills in gathering resources about video technologies, my knowledge of workflows surrounding the digitization of analog video materials, and gave me a great deal of professional experience working with other colleagues--perhaps, the most invaluable experience--while learning the positive and sincere attitude needed for cooperation and deep research.