It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I guess life gets in the way sometimes. For the past two months I’ve been part of a team investigating digital video and rich media workflows at Notre Dame. This is all related to a larger initiative to look at Digital Asset Management (DAM) and how it may, or may not, fit at my institution. So, this post is not so much about DAM as it is about the discovery and research of our existing processes and benchmarking. A good deal of my time on the team has been split into the following areas:
1) Current workflow evaluation
2) Capture/encoding technologies
3) Metadata standards
4) Storage and archive
5) How it all fits together
Other than weekly team meetings that have been quite productive, I’ve conducted a great deal of research on my own in these respective areas. In addition, a number of site visits were scheduled to gain a sense of how our peers and the experts are working through these same issues. The visits included various groups at Indiana University, who seem to have figured out many of these issues. From metadata and discovery of their content (see Variations) to digitizing video, live streaming, preservation and archiving. Indiana University has been a leader in this area for a very long time. This graphic displays the various metadata standards and was compiled by Jenn Riley, Metadata Librarian in the Indiana University Digital Library Program.
Other site visits included media library and IT teams at Georgetown University, American University, Library of Congress (Packard Campus), and National Geographic. The big take aways from the visits at Georgetown and American were how they handled their media services departments, both of which are part of their libraries, and organizational issues. Georgetown had a very efficient configuration for media checkout, editing studios, and multimedia labs. American had a similar setup, but on a slightly smaller scale and seemed to struggle with organizational issues.
The visit to the Library of Congress facility in Culpeper, Virginia – also known as the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, was nothing short of mind blowing. The facility is built into the side of a mountain and integrated into an old Federal Reserve facility, with vaults and tunnels inside the mountain, very James Bond-ish. The interesting part is of this visit was knowing that most of our nations cultural heritage in audio, video and film is curated by some of the smartest and most dedicated preservationists and technologists in the world. This is THE world wide gold standard. At the Packard Campus, they have the capability of digitizing any media (audio, video, film) every produced…including things like Edison Wax Cylinders. Anyhow, we were able to gather some very good information on everything from preservation, to storage requirements, to metadata standards, to digital workflows. I was also introduced to a new term, “Born Digital” which are assets that were just that…Born Digital…never acquired or produced in an analog state.
While in DC we also paid a visit to National Geographic, where some good information was shared on their internal processes, for both content management and editorial control. Additionally, some good contacts were made for both metadata and preservation/archiving assets.
So far this has been a great learning experience, in particular areas like metadata standards, storage and encoding. Metadata is one topic that I knew very little about, unlike storage and encoding, but there is a good deal to discover in each area. Much more on this later as it develops.