by Dennis Cromwell, Executive Director, Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, Indiana University
Thirteen years ago, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared October 27 as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. This day is celebrated to raise awareness of the need to “take urgent measures” to safeguard and preserve the world’s audio, video, and film heritage.
MDPI joins in global recognition of the importance of audiovisual preservation. In his 2013 State of the University address, Indiana University’s President Michael A. McRobbie emphasized the importance of preserving media within the context of the academy’s responsibility in preserving world knowledge. He charged the university community with preserving all significant audio, video, and film holdings for future generations.
IU launched the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative in 2015 to digitize and preserve over 325,000 assets by 2020, IU’s bicentennial year. This ambitious project encompasses work across 85 units, and will involve literally hundreds of people by the time it is completed in 2020.
We work with Memnon Archiving Services, a Sony company, in a public-private partnership to make this happen. Together, we are proud to be part of preserving AV heritage, and we are working hard to make as much of this content as publicly accessible as possible, within appropriate laws and ethical considerations. I recommend that you bookmark https://media.dlib.indiana.edu/ to track new content as it becomes accessible.
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage provides a great opportunity to impart our progress, and so we are pleased to announce that our digitized content currently consumes almost 10 petabytes of data storage representing over 270,000 hours of content from 310,000 audio, video, and film items. The executive sponsors, along with me, MDPI’s executive director, recently briefed the IU Board of Trustees on this remarkable progress. You are welcome to view a video of the presentation materials that describes the project and results, and highlights several important collections.
At IU, we take the preservation mission seriously. We hope that in 2018, many other universities will commit to protecting their important AV assets before degradation and obsolescence make preservation impossible. I look forward to seeing their progress posted on World Day for Audiovisual Heritage next year.
It is appropriate to conclude with a bit of Indiana heritage. We like to say that the game of basketball may have been invented in Massachusetts, but it took root in Indiana. This 1942 film aims to improve the basketball skills of young players and illustrates the state of the game in that era. I am sure its ultimate goal was to ensure the 1940 NCAA basketball championship was not IU’s last.
In Indiana, we are proud of basketball and proud of our role in preserving the world’s AV heritage.