Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has installed a new Scanity film scanner from DFT. The national archive, originally founded in 1872, has more than a half million hours of audio and video recordings and 90,000 motion picture film titles ranging from interviews, music, television and radio broadcasts, to parliamentary proceedings.
In order to preserve these films and make them more accessible to Canadians on-and offline, LAC has embarked on an ambitious plan to transfer this content to standard computer formats, a monumental project given the size and scope of the material involved.
Included in the archive are some of the first Canadian motion pictures and photographic negatives, many of which are highly sensitive and require precise temperatures for preservation. These are at risk as audio-visual records deteriorate, formats (such as Betamax or VHS) become obsolete and the machines that can play them disappear.
LAC’s new Scanity has been specifically designed to ensure the safe handling of difficult, damaged and aged film stocks, and will enable the accurate digitization of these materials.
The new film scanner will also enable LAC to capture high quality images from their archive materials in real time, an important feature given the large volumes of film that they have.
“Scanity has been specifically designed to handle large volume archive library ingest and together with its dedicated Infra-Red scanning capability, it facilitates a rapid and effective transfer for dust and scratch management, delivering the best possible results for 2K or 4K data files,” said Simon Carter, director at DFT.