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 made up for about 50.000 discs in need. A substantial portion of these carriers contains commercial footage, so it was our job to assess whether it concerns cultural heritage or not. To this end, we offered our content partners selection criteria and set up a selection mechanism. Now we’ve landed on 12.500 discs to migrate, of which 5.000 are CDs and 7.500 DVD(-R)s. These come from the cultural heritage sector, city records and performing arts organizations.
80 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 configured a data model for the registration system and developed processes for the identification, selection, registration and packaging of these carriers.
Via a tendering procedure, the Dutch Picturae was chosen as a digitisation partner for this project. They were already responsible for the digitisation of Betamax, audio-CD-R and VCR of our second digitisation project. Later, they also tackled digitisation project 6 with 22 rare carrier types and the digitisation of VHS. We plan to wrap up the digital transfer of these discs by the end of 2020.