Stewarding Audiovisual Materials 

Archives and special collections hold huge numbers of analog and physical digital audiovisual (A/V) media, many of which are unique and/or of high research value. Changes in scholarship have led to an increased interest in A/V collections for the kinds of subjects they often document. But many of these collections are vulnerable, with only a short window of time before the formats will degrade and playback equipment will no longer be available, and the material will become impossible to access.

OCLC Research is responding to this expressed need with a program of work to better understand and address key challenges to stewarding, providing access to, and advocating for the A/V materials held in archives and special collections.

Our work so far

In Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections, OCLC Research identified addressing A/V Archives as a key priority of the archives and special collections community.

Then, in 2019, OCLC Research conducted a survey asking RLP partners about their most pressing needs related to work with A/V, and how we might help to address them. We followed the survey with focused conversations with RLP partners. Lessons from this work are summarized in a two-part Hanging Together blog post that shares the survey findings and discusses how we might address the major issues of scale and risk identified in our RLP community conversations

Webinars addressing A/V collection needs

Below are a series of webinars sharing work at RLP partner institutions that address some of the identified key challenges of working with A/V collections. By sharing the work of our colleagues, we support learning across the partnership and addressing these challenges together. 

Recordings of these live webinars are now available: