Works in Progress Webinar: Using Data to Advocate for the Preservation of Audiovisual Collections

This webinar will explain how data from a four-year project to survey and assess audiovisual collections across the Smithsonian Institution is being used to advance the preservation of those materials on a pan-institutional level.

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Slides (pptx)
New York Public Library, Audio and moving image collections, facilities, and workflows assessment
Indiana University, Meeting the challenges of media preservation: strategies and solutions 
Library of Congress, National recording preservation plan
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Pan-institutional survey of audiovisual collections
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Audiovisual preservation readiness assessment
Smithsonian Transcription Center, Transcribing audio collections instructions


Alison Reppert Gerber, Preservation Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Kira Sobers, Digital Media Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Archives


For many archives that care for mixed media collections, audiovisual preservation can be a struggle. A comprehensive plan for staffing, equipment set-up and maintenance, continued training, collection prioritization, and digital preservation infrastructure requires institutional support and funding. But how do you best raise awareness and garner support for your audiovisual collections? The answer – data gathering! Since 2015, the Smithsonian Institution has undertaken two large projects to gather data, using widely available tools and understandable methodologies, in order to support future audiovisual preservation initiatives. The 2016-2017 survey served as an inventory to gather group-level information on formats, condition, and storage environments. The 2018-2019 Audiovisual Preservation Readiness Assessment (AVPRA), performed by AMIA’s Community Archiving Collective, gathered information about current preservation rates, risk of collection loss, and institutional capability to care for these at-risk collections.

In response to the findings and recommendations from these projects, the Smithsonian has undertaken several activities to advance the preservation of these at-risk collections. This webinar will discuss the methodologies for the survey and assessment, how the data is currently supporting pan-institutional initiatives, and how this approach can be adapted for similar projects at other institutions.

This webinar will be of interest to those entrusted with preserving audiovisual collections and those responsible for developing strategies for large scale preservation projects.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series

These webinars are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, but the recordings are publicly available to all.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series to talk about work happening in OCLC Research – we'd like to present our work informally and get feedback from you, our Partners. We'd also like this to be a venue for Partner institutions. What are you working on that everyone should know about? What input would help you move forward? Let us know!


03 June 2020


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]

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Online via WebEx