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Digitisation project 9: CD and DVD

When talking about carriers of audiovisual material, chances are you’re thinking of a CD or DVD. We all have some lying around in our living room or in the glove compartment of our car. However, did you know that these discs have a lifespan that is shorter than for example film? Digitisation project 9 is our rescue operation.

Digitisation project 9 is a transfer-to-file project. This means that we’re converting a digital signal from a fragile carrier to a sustainable file format. The fragile carriers in question are the CD and DVD. Both are very common and are used as a storage medium to this day. Nevertheless, they are susceptible to damage caused by for example scratches, cracks, markers and stickers on the surface. According to certain experts, their lifespan would be limited to ten years. Another problem is playback technology. Can your laptop still read CDs or DVDs?

All of the partners together make up for about 50.000 discs in need, of which 35.000 CDs and 15.000 DVD(-R)s. These mainly come from the cultural heritage sector, city records and performing arts organizations. A substantial portion of these carriers presumably contains commercial footage, so it is our job to assess whether it concerns cultural heritage or not. To this end, we want to offer our content partners selection criteria and set up a selection mechanism. The above figures will therefore be readjusted later on.

90 of VIAA’s content partner are involved in this project. Since early 2019 they have heaps of documentation to start selecting CDs and DVDs. We are currently finishing a datamodel for the registration system and developing processes for the packaging and transport of these carriers.