In addition to digitisation, VIAA also provides sustainable archiving of digitised image and sound material. As of 2017, we have further expanded our services and we now also handle the archiving of audiovisual material from our partners’ existing digital collections.
Just like analogue material, these digital files can be unreadable, due to a lack of correct software to read the file or unforeseen circumstances such as a fire or natural disaster.
To prevent loss of data, we store multiple copies of all the material in multiple locations. We set high requirements for all aspects of the preservation and have processes in place to check that the stored files remain unchanged and readable.
Archiving in a nutshell
The sustainable preservation of Flemish audiovisual material is essential for the conservation and the quality of our audiovisual heritage. In the video below, we explain briefly how VIAA does its archiving.
VIAA has built up an archive system that has been operational since 2014 and which is continuously expanded and maintained. The archiving takes place in line with the Open Archival Information System (OAIS). This framework describes the most important elements of a digital archiving system. Amongst others, we distinguish between:
“Dance is a living art, which is very difficult to record in writing. So correct and sustainable archiving of our recordings is an absolute priority. VIAA’s specific expertise and help with the digitisation are of inestimable value to Rosas.”
Rosas dance company
VIAA content partner since 2016
VIAA preserves each image and sound fragment in three locations: we have two online locations, each with 17 petabytes of storage space on LTO tape and more than 350 terabytes on disk. High-resolution files are preserved on LTO tape while low resolution copies are kept on disk. A third copy is kept offline in a former nuclear bunker. The complete system of three locations can be expanded without any problems. We use two data centres: if one fails, the service will continue from the other, without loss of content.
Through our management system, owners of archived audiovisual material can manage their collections. The content partners can view, download (in high resolution) or enrich their material with metadata in accordance with the international standards. In the future, we will increasingly obtain metadata via crowdsourcing or new technologies such as speech-to-text and facial recognition.
The system determines which copy (LTO tape and disk) is stored where. With the help of API, we can develop extra customised services.