Resources for Librarians

A series of videos developed by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) based on their program A Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovisual Media. "This online tutorial was developed for curators, librarians, archivists, collections managers and other staff who are involved in managing machine-based media collections in cultural institutions. Viewers will learn basic principles and concepts for managing audiovisual collections and will be provided with information and strategies for preservation, contracting for reformatting, and finding funding opportunities."

"intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition, bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries, educational institutions, and video producers and distributors. The primary focus of the discussion supported by this list will be on video collection, access, and use." (view earlier postings)

"an electronic clearinghouse for information about new services, products, resources, and programs of interest to video librarians and archivists, educators, and others involved in the selection, acquisition, programming, and preservation of video materials in non-profit settings."

"Provides leadership within ALA on all issues related to video collections, programs, and services in libraries. The VRT supports video advocacy within ALA, within the profession, and within our libraries. We understand ‘video’ to include all formats, analog and digital; multimedia that includes video content; and the network delivery of digital or digitized video." (wiki containing the most up to date VRT information)

Provides discussion and guidelines about cataloging both online and audiovisual material.  Their latest draft recommendations released July 2, 2009 include information about cataloging streaming media and Blu-Ray DVDs.

The site includes the publication Guidelines for audiovisual and multimedia materials in libraries, available in 19 languages.

Sponsors and co-sponsors events at both ALA and PLA conferences.  Some older event examples are here.

Currently working on a document discussing best-practices for libraries facing copyright issues in their handling of video (similar to Fair Use Best Practices documents that were developed for Dance Collections and for Documentary Filmmakers).  Hopes to release this for comment to the ALA community October 1, 2009.

Gets together during ALA meetings for discussions.  Likely discussion for January 2010 meeting is Streaming Video.  Recent topics have included: the impact of the FCC's digital tv conversion, fair use, licensing of streaming content, video gaming and collections, ...

Guidelines and Best Practices

"This document constitutes a revision of earlier versions of IASA-TC 03 issued in September 2001 and February 1997. The revision is a consequence of the most recent developments in digital audio archiving. The document has also taken account of IASA-TC 04, Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects, published in 2004. Accordingly, TC 03 concentrates on the principles while TC 04 provides detailed explanations of the practical consequences of TC 03."

"Already an accepted authority in the sound archiving field, the second edition is a thoroughly revised and updated publication with substantial new information and chapters...No sound archive or audio collection manager should be without this publication as it forms the cornerstone of our work in the digital age."

"This publication presents the results of research and development carried out by the Sound Directions project with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the U.S. Each chapter in this document is divided into two major parts: a preservation overview that summarizes key concepts for collection managers and curators, followed by a section intended for audio engineers, digital librarians, and other technical staff that presents recommended technical practices while summarizing our findings and experience."

"The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines and a set of best practices for cultural heritage institutions interested in converting analog audio recordings to digital formats. Recording audio directly into digital formats is also addressed. We hope that this information will help to preserve these collections and make them more widely accessible."

"The purpose of this site is to encourage the preservation of historic video using the mature technology of digital capture [video capture cards], to create individual video files, which would be stored on mass storage media such as hard drives (HDD) or data tape (DT). The individual video files created can be copied without loss -- forever. As with all computer equipment, the storage media must replaced when (a) system components begin to fail with age or (b) the technology advances. The digital files would be migrated to new storage with no loss due to recapture, noise, haste, error or budget restrictions."

Bibliography on moving image and sound conservation compiled for the SOIMA programme of the International Centre for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)

Grants and Funding Opportunities

"A collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the Foundation Center. This publication lists 1,944 grants of $5,000 or more awarded by 488 foundations, from 2004 through the publication date of this guide. It covers grants to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries, and to archives and museums for activities related to conservation and preservation."

"National Leadership Grants support projects that have the potential to elevate museum and library practice. The Institute seeks to advance the ability of museums and libraries to preserve culture, heritage and knowledge while enhancing learning. IMLS welcomes proposals that promote the skills necessary to devlop 21st century communities, citizens, and workers."

"The NFPF offers several types of grants to help public and nonprofit institutions preserve and provide public access to American orphan films. The grants are made possible through The Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2008 (PL 110-336), the support of the Library of Congress, and the contributions of public spirited donors." Grant types include Basic Preservation Grants, Matching Grants, Summer Grants, and Avant-Garde Masters Grants.

"Preservation Assistance Grants help institutionsÑparticularly small and mid-sized institutionsÑimprove their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections, including special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects. Institutions such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, arts and cultural organizations, and town and county records offices are encouraged to apply."

"Preservation and Access Research and Development grants support projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources. These challenges include the need to find better ways to preserve materials of critical importance to the nationÕs cultural heritageÑfrom fragile artifacts and manuscripts to analog recordings and digital assets subject to technological obsolescenceÑand to develop advanced modes of searching, discovering, and using such materials."


"AMIA is a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials."

"The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) brings together institutions dedicated to rescuing films both as cultural heritage and as historical documents. Founded in Paris in 1938, FIAF is a collaborative association of the world's leading film archives whose purpose has always been to ensure the proper preservation and showing of motion pictures. Today, more than 140 archives in over 77 countries collect, restore, and exhibit films and cinema documentation spanning the entire history of film."

"The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) was established in 1969 in Amsterdam to function as a medium for international co-operation between archives that preserve recorded sound and audiovisual documents. IASA has members from more than 60 countries representing a broad palette of audiovisual archives and personal interests which are distinguished by their focus on particular subjects and areas, eg archives for all sorts of musical recordings, historic, literary, folkloric and ethnological sound documents, theatre productions and oral history interviews, bio-acoustics, environmental and medical sounds, linguistic and dialect recordings, as well as recordings for forensic purposes."

"The International Federation of Television Archives is an international professional association established to provide a means for co-operation amongst broadcast and national audiovisual archives and libraries concerned with the collection, preservation and exploitation of moving image and recorded sound materials and associated documentation."

"IMAP serves the caretakers of media collections by providing information resources to help preserve our cultural heritage. IMAP offers innovative solutions through information sharing, continuing education and networking opportunities." The website includes information on the IMAP Cataloging Template, Preservation 101, Resources and Grants.