Preservation specialist Memnon has joined the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI) at Indiana University (IU), based in Bloomington, Ind. The project will see more than 400,000 audio and video recordings digitized, preserved and made available for research.
A recent study has identified the media objects, currently stored on the campuses of IU, which are historically significant, carry enduring research value, and are particularly vulnerable because of rapidly deteriorating condition and format. These include more than 400,000 objects – audio, video, film and other media – on the Bloomington campus, and a further 100,000 objects at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). More material is stored at other campuses.
The large-scale project is funded for the next five years. Memnon will manage digitization facilities on site at the university. This includes specialist equipment to transcribe obsolescent audio and video formats, which are maintained as part of Memnon’s archiving services.
“The goal of this initiative is extremely ambitious,” said IU president Michael McRobbie. “It is, in short, to digitize, preserve and make universally available by IU’s bicentenary all of the time-based media objects on all campuses of IU judged important by experts.”
Works that have been digitised under the MDPI project will be available via the Indiana University Media Preservation and Access Centre in partnership with IU libraries. The work is scheduled for completion in time for IU’s bicentennial celebrations in January 2020.
“All around the world we see archives that could be lost because they have yet to start a comprehensive digitization process,” said Memnon CEO Michel Merten. “The materials are becoming fragile and worn, and the technology to replay them is harder to find and maintain. Indiana University has recognized this issue and started a timely program to conserve this vast store of intellectual property, and we are delighted to be working with them.”