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Audiovisual Preservation Conferences Recap

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) Annual Conference 2016

Tre Berney and Karl Fitzke represented CUL at this year’s International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives annual conference, held at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Karl is serving as a reviewer for IASA Journal and Tre participated in two panel sessions as part of the program. We began the week by attending the closed Technical and Education Committee meetings on Sunday at the Smithsonian’s National Museum for the American Indian. Topics discussed by the committee included emerging technologies in video analysis, including “waveform-style” visual tools for video, interdisciplinary languages for security, and curriculum design for small, cultural heritage archives with AV holdings.

The programming included talks on strategies for file validation and packaging strategies, the ongoing development of open source tools, Open source codec and wrapper developments for file types, preserving supplemental to AV materials, cultural curation, connecting archives to communities, anticipating user requirements, managing DPX film scans and expectations and much more. While Cornell Library AV preservation is advanced, managing the digitally produced content is still a struggle and we’re working closely with CUL-IT and IT@Cornell on strategies and solutions. Tre spoke about collaborations between IT and AV preservation units at IASA, along with Erica Titkemeyer (Southern Folklife Center – UNC), David Ackerman (Harvard), and Jon Dunn (Indiana University). (

Tre also spoke about the Cornell Hip Hop Collection in the context of preserving cultural movements and fandom along with John Bondurant and Jeremy Brett (Texas A&M), and Dr. Francesca Coppa (Muhlenberg College). (

It was another really solid week with some of my favorite colleagues from around the globe with a focus on global cultural heritage and human record. I look forward to the publication of the TC-06, IASA’s next Technical Committee report, focused on recommended standards for video preservation. They remain an important resource for our work here at CUL.


Association of Moving Image Archivists Annual Conference 2016

Earlier this month the AV team (Tre, Karl and Desi) attended the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference coincided with the results of the presidential election which set the stage for conversations about diversity and inclusion within the organization and advocating for better representation of the same within archival collections. To that purpose, a mini-symposium was held on community archiving and how to serve organizations without resources to adequately care for their materials. In line with this type of outreach, Desi participated in a workshop where AMIA members helped to process AV collections and educate local organizations on media preservation.

This year we worked with three Pittsburgh organizations: City of Asylum, a group that provides sanctuary to exiled authors, publishes their work and holds events for them to share it; Attack Theatre, a group that makes art accessible by bringing it to under-served communities; and David Newell, better known as Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, to help inspect and process his collection of films.

Karl and Desi also participated in a workshop on digital preservation which gave an introduction to command line interface and open source tools used in audiovisual digitization and file storage. This type of technical know-how is exceedingly important as we migrate deteriorating AV formats to digital ones that need an increased level of care as technology constantly advances.  There were many sessions that dealt with metadata, access, and collections policy and even a session on how archivists plan to address the increasing amount of police body-cam footage and its implications. All in all, it was an eventful and productive time and we are happy to be a part of an organization actively caring for cultural heritage and conscious of the diversity it represents.


Tre Berney and Desiree Alexander, Digitization and Conservation Services, DSPS


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