Current Preservation Department Projects
- Media Preservation Unit
- "Developing Principles and Methodologies for Moving Image and Audio Preservation in Research Libraries," Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- "Digital Preservation of the Mick Moloney Collection of Irish American Culture," Grammy Foundation
- "Spanish Civil War Nitrate Film Preservation Project," Cinetech/Ascent Media
- "Orphan Film Symposium Downtown Media Preservation Project," Media Matters, LLC
Media Preservation Unit
"Developing Principles and Methodologies for Moving Image and Audio Preservation in Research Libraries," Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
In 2006, the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department embarked upon a three-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to 1) develop a rationale for and strategic approach to operational library preservation services for moving image and audio materials and 2) devise methodologies for assessing the condition of archival magnetic media based on visual and playback inspection in order to prioritize the relative need and appropriate pathways toward preservation. Results from this methodology aim to determine whether visual inspection alone is adequate to collect accurate data for video and audio, or whether playback inspection is necessary for informed preservation decision-making. In this latter project, we also are exploring the use of random sampling as a methodology for assessing archival audio/visual materials. A final goal of the latter project is to create a freely accessible database for the moving image and sound preservation community that will be structured to serve as a comprehensive archival audio/visual inventory, assessment, and preservation prioritization tool: NYU ViPIRS .
"Digital Preservation of the Mick Moloney Collection of Irish American Culture," Grammy Foundation
In this collaborative project with the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives and audio preservation laboratory SPECS Bros., the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department is preserving and making accessible approximately 170 hours of field recordings and interviews of Irish American musicians. Taped from 1961 to 1985 by ethnomusicologist Mick Moloney, they document a musical subculture that did not record commercially, but which from the 1920s forward helped shape the style and repertoire of the Irish folk tradition. Badly deteriorated, the tapes contain an invaluable record of the development of Irish social and cultural identity in America.
"Spanish Civil War Nitrate Film Preservation Project," Cinetech/Ascent Media
A joint effort of the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department, the Orphan Film Symposium, the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives, and Cinetech/Ascent Media, this project seeks to preserve four 35mm nitrate films related to the Spanish Civil War; to secure the assistance of research experts to study the material for the purposes of further identification; and to present the films as a main attraction at the first New York Orphan Film Symposium (scheduled for Spring 2008). Three of the four films are unidentified; the fourth is a newsreel, Noticiario de Laya Films no. 3. The Noticiario series was produced for the Republicans by Laya Film in Barcelona and was their most important cinematic tool during the war. Originally produced in January 1937, the possessed third installment had been considered lost since 1945 when the only other known copy was destroyed in a fire. This is the only newsreel in the Noticiario series that Spain's Filmoteca Española does not hold, and the recent discovery of Tamiment/Wagner copy is of great significance.
"Orphan Film Symposium Downtown Media Preservation Project," Media Matters, LLC
Fales Library and Special Collections, Media Matters, LLC and the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department are collaborating on a project to preserve over 150 hours of video material from the Downtown Collection, which focuses on the New York City arts scene, ca. 1970 - 1990. Begun in 1994, the Downtown Collection documents the explosion of artistic experimentation that took place in SoHo, the East Village, and the Lower East Side. These ¾" Umatic videotapes will be digitized to Motion JPEG 2000 preservation master files and MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 access copies using Media Matters' SAMMA Solo machine. Selections of preserved material will be screened at the 2008 Orphan Film Symposium in 2008.