Preservation Week 2012


AMIA @ NYU will be celebrating The American Library Association’s annual Preservation Week by providing helpful hints, event information, and preservation tips from April 22nd until April 28th!

“Preservation Week, a joint initiative of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library of Congress and IMLS, encourages libraries and other institutions to connect our communities through events, activities and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.” (LoC, Preservation — Pass It On!)


As we approach the end to a vibrant week of tips & events, AMIA @ NYU wishes to share this helpful sight for the home movie/personal archivist. Developed by AMIA (our proud parent organization!), Film Forever is a great resource for those who find themselves tasked with preserving the home movies of their families or in a film archive for the first time. Take a moment to peruse the chapter, some of which are sampled below, and happy preserving!

“This website will focus on the most common types of films found in private collections and give basic information on implementing a practical preservation strategy for film materials. This will include a basic discussion of the main factors that determine the stability of motion picture film, giving recommendations relating to inspection and handling, cleaning and repair, preparation for storage and storage conditions.”

CH. 3: “Film is subject to three main categories of deterioration: mechanical, biological, and chemical decay.”

CH 6.1: “Watching film is as important as preserving it. It is important not to consider video transfer “preservation”.”

CH. 8: “Cold and dry are the best conditions for the storage of film.” (See the IPI Quick Reference in our RESOURCES links)



In light of the wonderful Act/Arcs presentation on Occupy Wall Street and activism in archiving on Tuesday at Tisch, AMIA @ NYU would like to share WITNESS’ Yvonne Ng’s:

7 Tips to Ensure Your Video Is Usable in the Long Term

Tips for Making Your Videos Discoverable and Usable in the Long Term

 1. Collect details while filming. Turn on date, time, and location capturing features on your camera, or film a piece of paper with this information written on it. Record noteworthy pieces of information like street signs, clocks, badge numbers, or state them verbally on camera. Record names and consents on camera or in a separate document, if safe to do so.

2. Keep your original raw footage, unaltered. If your video might have legal evidentiary value, keep your original raw footage, even after it has been uploaded. Organize your offloaded material (e.g. by date and/or creator), but do not delete or alter the original filenames or directory structure. Make a backup on a separate medium. Keep this material secure.

3. Make your video discoverable. If safe to do so, upload copies of your video or share as a torrent. The key is to make your video findable by others. Make your titles descriptive (e.g. name of event, date, location). Tag your video with OWS, OccupyWallStreet, and other keywords — search for videos like yours to see what tags others are already using.

 4. Contextualize it. Your uploaded video is more useful if people know what it’s about. Use description fields to describe what happened before, during and after the event depicted. Include names, dates, and specific locations. Add a URL for a relevant website leading to further information.

5. Make it verifiable. Enhance the verifiability of your video. Tag and describe your video (points 3 & 4 above) so that it can be easily compared with other documentation of the same event. Consider upload sites that allow you to upload/share untranscoded files (e.g. torrents, Internet Archive), or that allow you to be contacted (e.g.Vimeo).

6. Allow others to collect and archive. Share your uploaded videos using a Creative Commonslicense. Archives around the world are scraping videos from upload sites for safekeeping, but usually only ones they can legally collect. Consider depositing your original raw footage with a trustworthy archive. If your video has evidentiary value, a trusted archive can help maintain a reliable chain of custody.

7. Or archive it yourself. There are many benefits to working with an established archive, but if you want to do it yourself: 1) Save the original footage or the highest quality output, 2) Document the footage/videos with descriptive information, 3) Organize your videos by date or source, 4) Make back up copies on quality hard drives, stored in separate locations, 5) Check your saved files at least once a year. See the Library of Congress’s Personal Archiving site for more information.

The above information was shared using a CC-A-NC-SA 3.0 US License. Find more suggestions on personal archiving and preservation at the Act/Arcs website:



Activist Archivists: Community Archiving and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

What will happen to all the audio, video and physical material produced around Occupy Wall Street?
How will we ensure that it is preserved for future generations?

Join the discussion and come learn about some of the initiatives currently underway!

In association with the American Library Association’s Preservation Week initiative, Activist Archivists* will host a presentation and panel discussion focused on presenting our efforts, alongside the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group, to archive and preserve material related to the movement

Free and Open to the Public
April 24, 6 PM
NYU Michelson Theater
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Room 648

*Activist Archivists are a group of media archivists who aim to provide assistance on archiving and preservation matters in order to improve the discoverability of video that is being produced; to support the usability of videos as evidence; to ensure that the rights and intentions of media creators are respected; and to ensure that the legacy of the OWS movement persists through open access.



Today, AMIA @ NYU would like to feature the interactive & progressive project from NYU/ITP’s Matt Epler. Follow the link below to see how you can help the mission to identify and preserve these rare films found in Jordan. 

From Epler:
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of a unique database of 850 film canisters that were recently discovered in Amman, Jordan.  We were able to photograph every canister label and are looking for help from the international community to translate the Russian and Arabic labels. This a truly collaborative project with no ownership by any one person or institution. This is DIY archiving.

We believe there are rare films among this collection  (see our “About” page on the website) This project is part of an ongoing effort to advocate the preservation, digitization, and distribution of these lost films and others like them in the Middle East region. To that end, once we can identify the titles on these cans, we can begin to work on them.  Reels identified so far include an early short film by Mustapha Abu Ali, Tarkovsky, official speeches by regional leaders, and much much more.

Russian and Arabic speakers we desperately need you at this stage: please help us translate the titles of these reels into English!

To Everyone: anything you an add is welcome in the comment section for each reel. Look for any thumbnail image that is slightly transparent – those titles have been translated and you can help us by telling us anything you know about them! And follow us on Twitter where we will be post updates and special finds.

Keep visiting the database as it grows with captions and comments.  Feel free to update and adapt the translated captions of these reels as you see fit.

If you have any questions please email us at

Follow this project at



AMIA @ NYU would like to feature CoOL – Conservation OnLine to kick off
Preservation Week 2012.

Resources available at

CoOL, an online resource operated by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation is a full text library of conservation information, covering a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives and museum materials. It is a growing online resource for conservators, collection care specialists, and other conservation professionals”

Or are you more of a VIDEO person?
Ever wondered how to start learning about DIGITAL STORAGE & PRESERVATION?