A World of Opportunity: Audio Visual Archives & the Digital Landscape

A World of Opportunity: Audio Visual Archives & the Digital Landscape


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington DC.>>Ilse Assmann: “And change
will not come if we wait for some other person
or some other time. We are the ones we’ve
been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” And that’s a quote
from Barack Obama. I could not think of a
more appropriate quote by an equally appropriate person to open the 47th Annual
IASA Conference. That quote, because our theme
for this conference is “A World of Opportunity, Audiovisual Archives and the Digital Landscape,”
which implies change. And of course President Obama, as
we are in Washington DC on the eve of an election that we’ll see the
end of his tenure as president of the United States, and
history recording his legacy. It is also no coincidence
that I quote the US president. The very building in which the
conference will be taking place over the next few days is testimony
to the rich legacy left to us by the various presidents
previously of the United States. It’s an absolute honor for me to
be standing in this building named after the fourth president of
the United States James Madison, regarded as the father of
the constitution and the last of the founding fathers
to serve as president. Over and above the remarkable
history of the Library of Congress, it has been my wish
since I started my career as a radio archivist
almost 30 years ago to one day visit this institution
that has had such a profound impact on the world of libraries
and archives. A warm welcome to 2016 IASA
Conference, in particular, to our host, David Mao, the deputy
librarian of Congress, Mark Sweeney, associate librarian of Library
Services, Betsy Peterson, director of American
Folklife Center, Greg Lukow, the chief of the Motion
Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, who all actively contributed
towards this conference. A warm welcome to Andrea
Kalas, president of AMIA and also our keynote speaker. It is my privilege to also
extend a very, very warm welcome to previous IASA presidents
and honorary members of IASA. Gerald Gibson, Gerry
Gibson, where are you? [ Applause ] And of course, Dietrich Schuller. [ Applause ] Thank you. Thank you. [ Applause ] We are very grateful that you
made your way, both of you, to attend this conference and
to honor us with your presence. Thank you so much. I also wish to thank
the Library of Congress and in particular the
newly appointed librarian of Congress who’s hosting
the conference. And as you probably know,
Carla Hayden is the first woman and first American– African American to lead
the Library of Congress. I especially wish to thank
the organizing committee, I already did that in our January
assembly, but I wish to do so again, Judith Gray, Kate Murray, Carl
Fleischhauer, Guha Shankar, Stephanie Smith, Megan McShea,
Dave Walker, and Gene DeAnna, who are staff of both
the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian institution. In addition, this conference
would not have been possible without the effort of Jarrod
MacNeil and Thea Austen. Then, a heartfelt welcome
to all new student members. It is a brand new category
of membership with IASA and Judith told me that we have
quite a few student members. So, thank you for joining and
really welcome to this conference. May I also just add that we’ve noted
the many registrations of people who are not members of IASA as yet
and we really would like for you to talk to any one of
us if you feel the need and we really hope you have the need
to join IASA so that we can talk to you about the benefits of becoming an IASA just a
little from the– from outside. And that lastly, I really
need to thank our sponsors for making this conference possible. Memnon, a Sony company, as the
platinum sponsor for the conference, NOA and Cube-Tec, who
are both bronze sponsors. And then also, our exhibiting
sponsors Gecko, Timestep. And if I can just read it there–
I can’t make it out, I’m sorry.>>Bert Lyons: George Blood.>>Ilse Assmann: George Blood. Thank you so much, Bert. And all of this would
not have been possible for the generous contribution by
the Library of Congress as well. So, thank you very much
to all our sponsors. As Judith already has
said, the exhibitors are in the room next door, they
feel kind of lonely there, so in your tea time, coffee
time, please go around, visit them, and talk to them. So, the theme of this year’s
conference touches deeply on the James Truslow
Adams American dream. And I’ve hinted it– add
that in my presidential or that welcoming note
in the program. That became the symbol of opportunity, prosperity,
and success. The American dream was
achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work. All being part of the
entrepreneurial spirit that became synonyms with America. Adams in his book, “The Epic of
America,” which was written in 1931, defined the American dream
as that dream of a land in which life should be better
and richer and fuller for everyone with opportunity for each
according to their ability of achievement– or achievement. Put one in this sense,
they [inaudible] a parallel between Adams’s American dream
of opportunity and the discovery of recorded sound, images and moving
images, the establishment of radio and television, and the consequent
inevitable growth of sound and audiovisual archives. With every pioneering
development to record images, sound and moving images, came
new opportunities to preserve and expose our collections
to the world. Ensuring that our collections
were meticulously catalogued, well-preserved and secured in a
physical sense as well as in terms of the conflicts and tricky
ownership rights associated with the content was certainly
not without risk and hard work. I believe that this pattern
of archives being impacted by new technologies and
maintaining a balance between safeguarding our collections and making them accessible has
the ingredients of that trend. We have no choice but
to take note of trends that are shaping the
future of our world. Each technological innovation
and the market’s response to the innovations has the makings
of a trend and the potential to take us forward, or
sadly, in some cases, put us a step or two back. How many of us were not forced
to preserve our audio collections on mini disc to save storage space? And how many of us had to fight the
preservation, of the preservation, using MP3 for the same reason? It is a miracle that our collections
sometimes survive this ostensibly cost and storage reductions
decisions. Today I say, and I speak
on personal experience, that IASA was the saving
grace in many instances. Trends become discernible
overtime and give us an idea of what’s happening in a particular
field at any given point in time. Trends provide a view of the
future and hints on how to prepare. As the sci-fi author William
Gibson who coined terms such as cyberspace already in the
1980s, long before anyone used it, say, “The future is here already,
it’s just not evenly distributed.” Is this not also the case where audiovisual archives
are now collections in the digital landscape? We are already connected to our global markets even though we
may not have exposed them fully yet, or explored them fully yet. Do we have a choice about not
thinking more entrepreneurial about our work and the advantages and challenges the digital
landscape offers to us? In occupying this niche
market, we need to be up-to-date with the latest technology. We need to know what our
constituencies are wanting from us and how demands for access to
information affects us in terms of offerings to our clients. An associate directory– director
of the Reference Department at the Library of Congress, one
John L. Nolan, when writing a 1961 about the inclusion of
audiovisuals as part of the library collections noted that the fast moving technological
changes made projection of present trends– can
I just repeat that — of fast moving technological changes
made prediction of present trends in this area particularly hazardous. That was in 1961. Acknowledging this– his postulation
might just have been wishful thinking on his part. Nolan listed the trends then
as, one, greater production of audiovisual materials for
educational and recreational use. According to Nolan, the audiovisual
industry had doubled in the 1950 to 1960 period and he predicted
a doubling by the end of 1962. Two, an urgent need
for trained personnel to handle the growing volume and
variety of audiovisual materials, especially training in
the technical aspects of handling audiovisual materials. But adding that, far more important
will be the need for imagination, initiative, and practical
planning in this field. Three, the expansion of
technological research and development to make possible
greater centralization of service, greater simplicity in
use, and lower cost. In other words, automization to
permit a greater degree of use through self service and
thorough mass service– sorry, and through mass service. Four, the development of more
systematic bibliographic coverage and methods of organizing
audiovisual materials for use. Sixty years later, we see that
Nolan had a good grasp of the future and opportunities of the time. In a recent research
survey done by the OCLC, the following trends were observed, growth of especially
audiovisual collections, growth of online catalogues,
large scale digitization models, and integration of once
separated special collections. We see the phenomenal growth of audiovisual collections
on a daily basis. I do not need to expand on the vast
impact, social media and technology such as smartphones and sophisticated software
are having on our collections. With this comes the shift
towards for more faults and fewer physical holdings,
especially in the case of born-digital content which of
course has its own challenges. The current trend to digitize
archived material increases access to previously unknown and
unshareable materials, those hidden collections,
and opens the potential for research and educational use. In addition, the usage and value of previously accessible materials
have both increased as a result of greater demand for information. Online catalogues have become a
trend, more secure and sophisticated than ever before in making
audiovisual collections available to users. It is impossible not
to think about ITN and its online catalogue
called ITN Source is an example of a modern online
catalogue containing more than one million hours of
footage and growing at a rate of over 20 hours of
digital content per day. Not only that ITN see the
opportunity to make available and sell its collection online,
but ITN also partnered with 24 of the world’s most influential
agencies, which includes for instance Reuters, and
syndicates its own news footage to other broadcasters and producers. Since 2005, ITN has been a
shareholder of the Espresso Group that provides digital
content to primary schools in the UK and also international. Digitization dictated that we adapt
our cataloguing practices to focus on metadata frameworks and
standards and begin thinking about the semantic web and
the opportunities it offers. The generation of metadata is
no longer solely in our domain. We are gradually becoming dependent on metadata generated
by other sources. Annemieke de Jong wrote already in
2007 that more and more metadata on the materials that we maintain
is being generated away from us, outside of the archive realm,
outside of our research and control. This concerns metadata that
is derived automatically, but also metadata that
is put in by humans. De Jong predicted that
professional cataloguers may feel that these developments will
cause them to lose a bit of their expertise
exclusiveness and that they will to have share their job, their
expertise with nonexperts. They’re bound to have to develop a
few more important new focuses too like maintaining the
metadata quality in the production environment doing
quality checks, advocate the use of controlled metadata,
help defining the algorithms for a user requirement point
of view and still bring in the higher semantics,
controlling the information content and the context of digital
audiovisual materials. The recognition though that metadata
is no longer the sole responsibility of the cataloguer has
brought with it opportunities such as crowd sourcing, the
semantic web, automated tagging, and other mechanisms to
involve the public, collectors, and other interest groups. The BBC and our very own organizing
knowledge committee are instrumental in further exploring
these opportunities. The prospects being yielded by the audiovisual digital
landscape are enormous and allow us to create central repositories
and stimulate collaboration and corporation within
and across borders to preserve and share content. Within the broadcasting arena,
there is a greater demand for reuse and repurposing content
both to save production cost and increase revenue
from content sales. We need to explore the training
demands because as Nolan observed, there is still an urgent
need for trained archivists to handle the growing volume and
variety of audiovisual materials. This potential for partnerships
with commercial entities, a concept once frowned about
upon but with modern day reality. To realize these opportunities
may require remote access 24/7/365 to meet our users’ demand for
instant access to our collections. This in turn implies building
comprehensive metadata resources and optimizing the audiovisual
resources for search and discovery and will require investigations of
encrypted media, secure websites, ethics, and many more aspects. Do we actually understand the
stronghand that we’ve been dealt with as Peter Kaufmann
so aptly argued in his paper assessing the
audiovisual archive market? Do we understand that our
collections have become sought after assets whether we want to generate revenue or
provide it for free? The ball so to speak
is in our hands. Focal International had the
following to say, our finding show that the trade-in archives
is an important part of the widened media
economy with content supplied by archives appearing in an
ever-increasing range of outlets. The growing variety
consumer platforms for accessing short form
long tail content means that this key role will
only grow in importance. Do we still experience our
archives full of stuffy old clips of obscure events only to be found in the off-chance or
wanted once-off? Our archives have inherent potential
to become dynamic businesses. While the digital content
economy has created an environment of user-generated content and the online consumers challenge
our instinct to create revenue to– for ourselves with the expectation
that media content should be mostly for free, archives enjoying growing
demand from businesses as well as the public or the wider public. It is vital for us to be proactive
in defining the future role of the archives as
curators of content. We have new channels
for content distribution for instance YouTube and Instagram. We have the opportunity to
engage with new user groups. We have options in exploring
technologies to enrich and optimize work processes
and to allow for creative ways to
access collections. A culture of innovation, an
entrepreneurial thinking is vital for exploring the possibilities
of corporation with our schools, our universities, our
communities, our broadcasters because as Johan Ullman
[assumed spelling] had observed, for the first time, our archives and our users are sharing
the same information space. In closing, I want to quote John
Hawking, assistant secretary-general of the UN, who recently
delivered the keynote address at the ICI Congress in Korea. “Our collections connect
past and future, problems to solutions
and people with people. Archives do not just
document an explorable past, but they are a cherished heritage
to build a more resilient future.” I wish you a very, very successful
conference, connecting with friends and colleagues and
exploring the opportunities that may benefit your archive. I have no doubt that you will
find value in this conference. Welcome. [ Applause ] Thank you. It is now my pleasure to welcome
up to the podium, David Mao, who has been for the past year
very capable acting Librarian of Congress. During the course of the past
few days, we’ve heard so much about you David and
on the appreciation for your leadership
in the interim period. So, it’s my pleasure to
welcome you up to the podium. [ Applause ]>>David Mao: Thank you very much
for that very generous thank you and introduction of my tenure year. As you may know, I am
honored to be serving as the deputy Librarian of Congress. We do have a new librarian,
a 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden who has
sworn in just two weeks ago. So on behalf of her and really
the entire Library of Congress, I want to welcome all of you
to the Library of Congress for this I’m told the
47th annual meeting of the International
Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives or IASA. I also want to especially welcome
your president, Ilse Assmann, who I probably– I’m thinking is
probably traveled the farthest to join us here. And I’m very glad that after–
I didn’t quite do the math, was it 30 years that you
finally are able to come and visit the Library of Congress. And on that, I want to ask, how
many– for how many of you here, is this the first visit to
the Library of Congress? And I see many of my
colleagues and former colleagues from the library here is
that they don’t count. Everybody else who– how many
of you this is the first visit to the Library of Congress? Wow, that’s actually
most of the room. And I’m delighted for one because
you are visiting the Library of Congress at this
transitional moment for us. I’m a little surprised though given
the long history that IASA has had with the Library of
Congress, the first president of the association being a staff
member here and then a president in the 1990s, also a staff member. And then 25 years later,
we of course have several of our staff here who
are serving, Judith, you heard from at the
very beginning. So with that long connection to
the library, I had hoped that many of you had been here before. But I’m just as delighted that you
are here now for the conference. I just want to– A few quick
remarks, we like to think of this library as a
temple of learning. And for those of you who may have
not, and obviously many of you not– have not been here, gone
to the Jefferson Building across the street, you will
see how beautiful it is. We like to think– If you see the
dome here in the picture here, we like to think of it as one of
the most beautiful buildings in all of Washington D.C., and it
really is a temple to learning. But within that temple, there are
several shrines, as we like to say, dedicated to sound and
audiovisual recordings. And you know them very well. Our Motion Pictures Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division is among
the world’s premiere collections in sound and audiovisual materials. We also have the library’s American
Folklife Center which is helping to co-sponsor this event. And the AFC as we like to call it
has one of the largest archives in the world of ethnographic sounds and AV recordings including
the earliest known examples on wax cylinders which
is truly phenomenal. So, we’re very proud here at the
library of both of these divisions. We’re also very proud
of our Packard Campus. I see Greg sitting
here– over on the side. And for those of you who might have
the opportunity later this week, I hope you will enjoy
that visit there. It’s more formally known as the National Audio-Visual
Conservation Center. And it really is a
spectacular facility. So, I hope you enjoy that visit. So, we have these wonderful
divisions. You know that we like to
preserve sound recordings here at the Library of Congress. And I’d like to say that we do–
sound recordings, I’m sorry, sound recordings and
audiovisual materials. And I’d like to say that we do
a pretty good job at doing that. We have a couple of
other opportunities here. The National Sound
Recording Registry, the National Film Registry, both
of which that I had the privilege of adding materials to during
my time as acting librarian. And it was really a thrill
and I’m glad that we get to do that here at the library. But we are the Library of Congress. So, we have a few other things,
books at the library in fact. So, we have books. We have physical objects. We have lots of materials,
many of which are on display over on our Jefferson Building. I hope you’ll take the opportunity
to explore some of our exhibits, see our beautiful building, take
a look at some of our materials. They’re just a drop in
the bucket really of one of the greatest collections
in the world, 162 million items in our collection. And so during your time here,
you will be spending a lot of time learning about the best
possible way to move forward as an organization in
this particular format. But I hope you will explore
some of the other things we have to offer here at the library
and that you will be inspired to come back and visit us more and
more whether be in person or really through our internet collections
and that you can take this and tell everybody
around the world about it. So again, welcome on
behalf of the library and enjoy your conference here. Thank you. [ Applause ] I believe these are for Dr. Hayden, and I will make sure
they get to them. She, as I said, just started
and has very full schedule, apologize she couldn’t be
here to welcome you formally.>>Ilse Assmann: Something for you. It’s just a little
something from South Africa.>>David Mao: Thank you. Thank you very much.>>Ilse Assmann: Thank you so much. It’s now my privilege to
introduce Andrea Kalas to you. She’s currently the
president of AMIA. And can I just add, it’s the
second time she’s president. And I think– As I said to
you earlier this morning, I think it says a lot about her
and it says a lot about AMIA, about AMIA that they wanted
her back and about her that she’s willing to
do it a second time. [ Laughter ] I think it speaks of
strength of character. But she’s also the vice
president of the Archives of the Paramount Pictures since
2009 and has worked as head of preservation at
the British Library– sorry, British Film Institute,
created in co-production, digital archiving systems
for Discovery Communications, built an archive from
scratch at the Dreamworks SKG and preserved new reels at the
UCLA Film and Television Archive. She also holds a master’s
from the UCLA in film history. I don’t have to say anything
further about Andrea’s experience in preserving film and
about her opportunity, the opportunities that
she saw there. She’s well-known for the
preservation work, and is well-known as being visionary in our
outlook of today’s archives. So her paper today, “Move into the
Middle, Digital Archiving 2016”, I’m sure will set the
tone for this conference. Andrea, welcome. [ Applause ]>>Andrea Kalas: Thank you
so much for having me Ilse. And thank you so much all
of you for allowing me to address you here today. I see a few familiar faces
out there from AMIA and some of the organizations I’ve
been privileged to work with over the years including
the Library of Congress. Thank you for hosting this as well. I really appreciate the
opportunity to be here to represent the Association
of Moving Image Archivists which I will talk about
in a minute or two. But really, I’m here as myself,
as a person who’s been involved with archiving over the years. So, I do want to take
the opportunity to plug our little
organization, the Association of Moving Image Archivists. What I’m showing you are a set of
gifts that we’ve created recently to just sort of explain
I think as visually as we can what the Association of
Moving Image Archivists really is. And what you’re seeing is one of our
members with some of the collections that she looks after, one of– this
is actually a home movie collection from a very prominent
African-American who donated his materials to UCLA. And you see him here
talking with Lena Horne. That’s one kind of
archivist and her collection. Another is Angela Schmidt
from the Alaska Film Archives and some silent documentary
footage she looks after. The Bay Area TV Archive, and Alex
Cherian has an incredible collection of some of the Black
Power movements materials. Ted from Coca-Cola has done
an enormous amount of work with actually caring for
all of the commercials that Coca-Cola has
made over the years. Or Brent from NYU who also looks after some really amazingly
powerful material news footage of– so the early AIDS movement. And this someone I worked
with, Miki, who actually had to do some really forensic work
to actually restore the images that were on LTO tapes that
were previously unrestorable until she came into the picture. So, our big event is coming up in
November, our annual conference. If you’ve never been to an
AMIA conference, I welcome you and encourage you to come. There’s an enormous of different
kinds of people as you saw from the gifts that
come to that conference. And we have screenings
and presentations and committee meetings, all sorts
of fun to be had by all archivists. So, I appreciate. We also do something
called the Reel Thing. We do it at the conference and we
do it several times during the year. It’s basically a really well-curated
presentation of sort of the latest and greatest in a lot
of film restoration, but also archival technology
dealing with moving images. Michael Friend and
Grover Crisp who were both at Sony Pictures have been doing
this for 20 years, I believe, an amazing contribution
to the field really. So if you can find what
are those near you– I think there’s one in
Amsterdam actually, next year. So, we also do something
called Digital Asset Symposium. We’ve been doing this for like
the last three or four years. We had one in New York. Last May– We’ll do another
one in May in New York again. We’re hoping to do one
in Los Angeles as well. It’s a focused day-long single
session discussion, really, of what people are doing
with different systems of digital asset management
and what all those things that that might mean. And they’ve been really, really
fruitful in exploring lots of different things, within sort
of– the entertainment world, but outside of that as
well, from all sorts of– because all sorts of
people of course have to deal with moving images. And then, we also just recently
had a projection workshop for those theaters that still
project 35-millimeter film and want to make sure that they’re taking
care of those as well as possible. We worked with Kodak and the Film
Foundation and the Alamo Drafthouse to sponsor this three-day long
conference where projection has came in and figured out how to make sure that the last few remaining
35-millimeter prints we have are cared for well. So, thank you for letting
me plug AMIA. Thank you very much. So, “Move into the
Middle,” you know, it may not be the best title ever. But I think– what I was trying to
really get at by saying that was that I think the archivists
right now are in the middle, whether we like it or
not, between sort of– what I see is the maturation of
both technology and knowledge about technology, and the
fragility of the artifacts that we are increasingly
have to care for, especially the digitally born ones. And, you know, that’s– what you
see there is Billy Wilder looking out of the porthole on the
set of Sunset Boulevard. And I just love this photo because
he’s directing the movie and yet he looks like he’s sort
of been left out of there. And so, that’s sort of a way– sort of metaphor for sometimes
how I feel as an archivist. It’s my job, it’s my
responsibility, it’s my head, it’s my, you know, stops with me. But sometimes, I have to just sort of watch it happen before
me at the same time. You know, this film,
Sunset Boulevard, is one of the reasons I’m
definitely an archivist of Paramount Pictures now and
probably a film archivist at all. And it’s– You know, and we had
the chance to restore that film. And it was actually the Library of
Congress that had an original print, vintage print, that we borrowed that
was critical to that restoration. So, I have to thank you for that because it was an amazing
part of that. But throughout the years whether
I’ve been preserving newsreels on 35-millimeter early stages of
my career UCLA Film and TV Archive or when I moved on to try to make
research easier at the Research And Study Center at the UCLA
Film and TV Archive by collecting up closed caption texts
from television, news shows into a really early
database, whether I had to figure out how– before, there was really
much bandwidth at all with discovery to bring footage electronically
back to headquarters from the far stretches of the world. Or now, we’re really focused within
Paramount Pictures on the concept of digitally-preserving
feature films. I’ve always seen technology
through the lens of archiving of preservation of access. And I think that right now,
I feel within the world of digital archiving,
we’re– really, we’re in. We’re 20 to 30 years in. It’s not new anymore. It’s not– We’re not scratching
our heads wondering how we’re going to digitize. We’re there. We are doing it everyday. And so, it just– it seems
to me it’s important to sort of think what does that mean
now that we are in it really. We are here 20, 30 years in. What’s our role? What’s our responsibility? So, here are two sort of divergent
concepts of a digital archive. On the top is the definition
that comes from OAIS. “Consisting of an organization
of people and systems that accepted the responsibility
to preserve information and make it available for
a designated community.” A useful definition, a very useful
definition, especially I think when with the concept of
people and systems together, it’s a really important one. I think that a lot of
people sometimes forget, it’s as if the technology
works by itself. And the other is a recently
available online cloud-based thing that you can put your digitally-born
materials that you’ve shot yourself into something that’s called
a digital video archive, DVA. So, two very different ideas
of what a digital archive is. One that is– you know, just the
beginning of different standards and ways of actually approaching a
really structured way of thinking about preserving and providing
access to important materials. And the other is really kind of
a shelf that hopefully will be around for a little while. We don’t know. This is a startup company. You know, it’s been around I think
for maybe six months, you know, what it will be in the future. So, it’s a– I think it’s an
important thing to show that this is where we are in the world where
lots of people are thinking about these definitions
in different ways. This is kind of what
our archive looks like at Paramount a little bit. It’s a– This is a way that
we have to think in order to really strongly think about
the technical metadata really that we need to do– to have
to manage the feature films within our own infrastructure. And the below text is just all
sorts of words that go flying around the office pretty
much everyday. But, as you can see, this kind
of very strong structuring of our basic file naming convention
is really what all this is, is– has to take into what
the title of the film is, what’s the current aspect ratio
of this is, whether it’s– was cut for a particular
territory, and even actually was cut for a ratings reason or not. What resolution is it, where
did it come from, you know, where was it created,
which is an important part of the process as well. And I know that this kind of intense
work to systematize, to really think about how our assets working
systems is incredibly important because we need to
work with technology. But within the OAIS definition,
the other definitely part of this equation is the great
people that I work with everyday, the amazing people that challenge
each other constantly when we come up with a new definition
for talking about things. When– You know, somebody who has
had a lot of system experience but not much photochemical
experience for example will really push on
someone to say, why do you need to call that black and white
interpositive fine grain, really? Or is anybody going to know
what that means in the future? And the arguments that
will go on there forever? We work really hard to think about
not only the technical metadata that we do, but the content
that we’re preserving and how we’re preserving that
and making that effective. So, that’s an important
part of who we are. You know, as we are 20, 30 years
in, I think the default perceptions of archivist still
exist outside of us and maybe inside of
us sometimes too. And it’s difficult not to
sometimes when we’re to be to not– to be forward-thinking when
we’re dealing with, you know, backlogs with subcategories
of backlogs as I have myself and deterioration issues,
legacy systems that will not probably become
anything other than legacy systems for years to come, but have to
be integrated into your latest and greatest digital infrastructure,
budget justifications and endless PowerPoints to try
and explain what the risk is if you don’t do something now. It’s hard to be forward-thinking
with all that around us all the time. And it’s even more hard when– this
quote was from a recent article on digital asset management which
really compares us to coal miners. Thank you very much. [laughter] So, you know,
it is hard to move beyond that perception and
keep that in mind. But, you know, I kind of
think that’s OK anyway because that is part of who we are. So, you know, mass digitization,
a huge impact obviously on anybody that’s calling themselves
a librarian or an archivist. A hundred million books, over a 100
million books have been digitized. I think– And maybe that somebody– oh no, there’s no more book
people in the room anymore. But I believe and I just– Please correct me if anybody
knows this is right or wrong. I think every book before
1800 is now been digitized, something like that. And these are publicly-searched–
is that right? Is that wrong? Somebody say something? By the way, anytime anybody wants
to interrupt me and correct me or ask me questions, you’re
more than welcome to– I don’t have to just keep talking. But– And the whole idea is to make these things
publicly-searchable online. That is the idea of
the digitization. And that is fantastic. It is amazing. It has made things– It has
made people be able to do so much more kinds of research
all over the world and be able to really, you know, sort
of do things from distances that they were never
able to do before. I mean, that kind of
access is incredible. And within moving images, you know,
within a very short time, you know, I went from saying things like, you
know, one day, we’ll be able to go on the internet and we’ll be able
to actually like click on something and watch and listen at the
same time to actually being able to manage that and having
that be a major part of what Paramount Pictures does
everyday is to move our content on to be streamed all
over the world. This quote here, “Update,
cat bombs more prevalent than previously thought” which
I just loved, is from an article from the Atlantic, a guy who
writes a lot about technology who had picked up on a researcher’s
paper on the fact that there was in fact in this 16th century
manuscript what looked like a cat with a bomb on its back,
and actually had found more than one cat with a
bomb on its back. And to me, it just
sort of articulates it. Yeah, we have all this stuff online. We have researchers
looking into this stuff. But we also have, you know,
the clickbait universe as well who is going to pick up on this and maybe trivialize what was a
really important piece of research or maybe talk about this in
ways that had nothing to do with what the original, you know,
fundraising proposal said about, you know, scanning these manuscripts
and how critical they were. But that exists. And that’s part of our world now. We can’t go back from it. Maybe we will mature
beyond clickbait land. That would be lovely. I would love to think
about a world, what we did. Maybe this is just a transition
we’re going through right now. But it’s here, and it’s
part of what happens when we make things
accessible on out there. You know, and the other
thing I think that happens when we digitize things
whether it’s books or whether it’s moving images is that they’re not what
they used to be anymore. I mean, even though the content
is there, the way that we work with them is– you know,
is– does obviously change. We– If we are providing
access to moving images online, we don’t necessarily have to have
several different flatbed editors for which we can playback
16-millimeter and 35-millimeter prints if those
things are available online. So, that skill and that
understanding of how that works is going to change. I mean obviously, as we look– if you look at any kind of
job descriptions that are out there today, coding, knowing
some kind of Python scripting or other kind of scripting
is a regular part of a digital archivist
job description now. That wasn’t around anymore. Our jobs are changing. That’s part of what we’re doing. And so, just trying
to think of that, the content without the
technology that surrounds it is– we can’t just do it anymore. It’s just– It’s here. But within that, I think, you know,
what’s also happening is, you know, we do have some really
incredibly deep and useful skills as archivists. And we need not– we need
to remember that always. You know, I think this little quote
here is another recent article on, you know, data mining, big data,
data science, call it what you will. And this concept of “dark
data” which I just love which is roughly translated
I think, unstructured data. And what they’re really saying– what they were saying in
this article is that, hey, this metadata thing might be useful. That there might be
something to that, actually having some
structured data in there. And they’re actually talking about– So many people actually
put things into dark data. And most of the time, I think
they’re talking about just, you know, maybe geospatial
data or, you know, call– phone metadata, things like that. But they’re also saying,
oh, wow, you know, people actually have e-mails and
files that they put into systems, so a little scary, but
anyway, because this is all about the internet of things. This is the new thing
where, you know, your refrigerator will
tell you you’re out of milk and things like that. But, you know, within that– what they’re saying is that there is
a stuff that is actually structured that could be useful to us. And I always– I have this sort of
feeling that people in these fields of new data science are — occasionally they look over at
archivists or librarians and go, hey, you know, they might
have actually had something when they were talking about how
important it is to structured data. So, we shouldn’t forget that. We’ve done such great
work in this area. And it’s so important and so
critical I think not only to sort of these emerging kinds of slightly
dodgy, in my opinion, technologies, but also because in order to
manage our own collections within that new technology, we
need to be firm on structured data. I will just sort of say that. The other thing is, we’ve always
had some really cool stuff within our own collections. And I think it’s really–
and that’s one thing about the OAIS description I would
have loved to seeing, you know, people, systems, and cool stuff. Because I think actually, that’s
another really important part of who we are as archivists,
is that we’ve always cared for collections, for material. We have incredible knowledge
about those collections, deep and impassioned about those
collections most of the time as well, an incredible
resource, in my opinion, for the rest of the world,
whether it’s feature films or whether it’s menus at
the Los Angeles Library, incredible treasure
trove of materials. And not– And, you know, it’s easy I
think sometimes to forget about that when we’re dealing with
metadata standards or other kinds of file format standards,
just things like that. The collections, they’re
at the center of it. That’s why we’re in this
field to begin with. So just another thing I
think that we’re really good at is really focusing on what that
resource is and why it’s important. We decided to help
acquire something. We decided to write a
collection profile on it. We decided that this collection took
a certain priority over others– those are all skills that
we have as archivists. Another quote from a recent article about digital asset management
system, and this is something that is near and dear to
my heart too which is, this content I call
asset transparency which is a horrible phrase. I need to come up with another one. But the idea is that when we were– at Paramount, when we were building
our digital preservation system, a key philosophical foundation– foundational philosophy was
that we needed to build a system that we could take
all of the assets. And by that, I mean, each individual
file that makes up the picture of a feature film, and each
individual WAV file that makes up the track that goes along with
that feature film, the video files that represent the trailer,
the JPEGs that represent all of the photographic
stills, all those assets and all their metadata need
to be able to move them out of the current digital
asset management system and the infrastructure we have
now and into something else. Because I know the
software will go away. I know the hardware will change. That– Those are the
things I know the most. What– And what– But what I need
to do is maintain the longevity and the permanence of the assets. And so in order to do that,
I think it’s really important to know the machine for– which
is know what your system is made out of, what are its
bits and pieces. I think that is something
that we need to know better. I mean, within my career, I’ve seen,
you know, the change from, you know, when you had– everyone had
their own data storage system, their own tape library or their set
of servers they had in the basement or they had some place on their
facility to now moving to a lot of people using cloud-based
infrastructures and what does that mean? It means different
technology roles change. This concept of DevOps,
the development operations, is a new sort of catch-all job
description for many people that work in different
technology fields. And what it means is, they have to
do hardware and software together where it used to be very,
very segregated across, you had system administrators,
you had software developers, you had analyst, very segregated. Now, everything is
getting smooshed together. It’s important to know
that because that– you’re going to need to interact
with those people as you go. So knowing what you have now and
also specifically like for example at Paramount, not only do I have
my digital asset management system, I am absolutely dependent on
other databases within the studio to provide me with key metadata
about my assets, whether it’s– there is a title database for
example that I must interact with. There is a rights database
that I must interact with. So knowing about those
systems and their fragility because often there is
that, their legacy systems, it may not be replaced for a while
what information I need is also a part of my job. So I think that’s another
but I think again– I think we have the skills for that
because I think naturally we do see because we’ve been working
so hard on really collecting and documenting collections. We can see in our heads what things
we need from different places. So I think we have
the skills to do that. So distract-tech, this is my phrase
I won’t patent it or anything but the– there’s thing called
AdTech and MarTech I don’t know if you’ve come across
this concept or– but right, really what that means is
that advertisers and marketers are of course becoming
really savvy about how to make sure you’re
getting as many things, so it was possible whenever
you interact with the interwebs or anything connected to it. And they, you know, are in the data
science realm, they are in trying to make sure that whatever you’re,
you know, buying is connected to something you bought
before all these kind of stuff and this quote is I think really apt
which is somebody sort of starting to complain if there’s really not a
lot of substance there and it does. I think, you know, in some cases, there is some really good probably
programming behind it but a lot of it is marketing to themselves,
you know, where our company is going to save all your, you know,
to solve all your advertising in marketing problems. And I just put his sort of hashtag
“we’ve always had substance,” which is– this is again
what we have as archivists, is we have the collections, we have
the contents, we have the substance, you know, that it’s easy I think
to get caught up in the fact that if we have digitized a lot
of materials, we feel, you know, we must get, you know, push
something out via Twitter or Facebook, or Instagram
or Snapchat or something into the universe everyday. It’s an important part of
getting the word out there about our digital collections. And maybe that’s a great idea,
maybe that isn’t, I don’t know. But I think it is, it can
be, you know, sort of, it could potentially be distracting
too from our mission from my opinion that just getting the word
out about our collections and spending an enormous amount
of time doing without thinking about why it could carry
some risks just a thought. You know, this phrase iTunes
metadata decimation is actually a quote from a friend of mine
who was talking about how– they’ve had iTunes for, you know,
oh gosh, a decade or so or more and have purchased a lot of
music and then, you know, and kept very good, you know, he
is very good personal archivist, very good care of his
iTunes library overtime. And then decided to go to the iCloud
and push his library up there and lo and behold, new versions of
music actually replaced the ones that he had originally purchased. You know and iTunes mainly stop
the music, what’s your problem. But, you know, this is I think a key
and an interesting concept to keep in mind as archivists, right, which
is that I can see a world where, let’s say, you know, Paramount
Pictures, oh I don’t know, is bought up by, oh, I don’t know,
a Chinese studio that could happen. And the Chinese studios
actually digitized the bunch of Paramount Pictures on their
own for some reason overtime and they just want to merge
our libraries why not, right? It’s no big deal. Well, we’re– but I’ve spent, you
know, most of my time making sure that when I have Saturday
Night Fever, I know it’s Saturday night fever. I know that I have captured the best
possible resolution of that image that I know that that both technical
and descriptive metadata is as accurate as possible that
I’ve spent this time doing it and I don’t want to lose that. And that’s an important key thing
and it’s a concept to provenance. And I think it is going to be much
more important for us to find ways of authenticating and
verifying and making sure that we have actual information
about different versions of assets and materials as we go forward. I was talking to Bert a
little bit before about– just about law enforcement
and not the obvious need for evidentiary provenance. So this is, you know, to me this– I
have a tough girl up there because, you know, nobody is going to take my
Saturday Night Fever away from me. You know, that is my
job to make sure that Saturday Night Fever
exists in the best possible way. Or more, perhaps, you
know, a film like Nebraska which was digitally shot and doesn’t
have a chance for me to go back to some sort of analog
provenance if I need to. So this to me, you
know, this is our– one of our responsibilities as far
as I see it in the digital realm is to make sure that we are the
keepers of the real stuff. We’re really good at that and
we shouldn’t lose that just because it’s digital or, and so you
were talking about crowd sourcing and other kinds of, you know,
that kind of interaction with that and I think that none of that is
wrong or off but it’s still our job in the end to keep that
provenance in that authority and that verification in my opinion. This is a slide I stole from my colleague Nicola
Mazzanti some of you know him. He’s never afraid to be
very strident and he– this is a slide that just really
was talking about within, you know, as many of you know within
film archives there is a strong and interesting debate about digital versus photochemical
and preservation. And this was his way
of saying within Europe that if we didn’t embrace
the concept– if there wasn’t an embrace
of digital preservation within cinema culture
that there would be a loss of investment within archives. And so, I think and
that’s– to me that’s fine. I think either side of this
debate to be straitened and to be opinionated is
perfectly well within our rights and we should be and
again, our job as archivists and as knowledge-keepers of how
to maintain these materials. This is pizza in a plastic container
that is meant to last forever. And I just love the
idea of permanent pizza. You know, and I think
this is another, this is another really difficult
thing for us to start to face when do have so much
to archive now out– you know, within each one of our
remits whether it’s, you know, my remit is to take care
of materials created by Paramount Pictures
so that the rest of the studio can really use it. You know, other people have
the remit to collect things for a particular region of the
United States where the people that are in that region to use it. Within our own remit
where– what is too much? I don’t, for example right now, collect any Paramount
Twitter feeds, should I? Maybe, I don’t know, you
know, another discussion. I don’t collect every
single version of a work in progress film before
it’s completed, should I? Maybe, I don’t know. There are millions of them. And these were just two quotes
which are, you know, by very, very smart people trying to figure
out definitions for digital archive and for preservation which show
that all smart people like everyone in this room and is– are really
grappling with these ideas of what a digital archive is
by either expanding the concept like adding value to people’s lives
by increasing their understanding and appreciation of the past. That’s fantastic but you know what’s
step one from there, you know, could be anything or a really
great article that really sort of just outlines the different
definitions of digital archive of digital preservation
that exist out there. So we’re all grappling
with these definitions because I think we’re grappling
with what we’re actually going to preserve and not even
the how and the, you know, and then how much but what? So those are all the things I
think we have in front of us now that we’re 20 to 30 years into
this whole digital archive thing. But I think that we as a
field, those of us within AMIA, those of us within IASA and other
archive organizations especially dealing with moving images as they
are going to be a critical part of how we think about
culture, history, education, every part of our lives. We have the skills and I
think it’s an exciting time and I am happy to be a part of it. Thanks very much. [ Applause ] I’m happy to answer
questions if anybody has one. I’m happy to answer
questions if anybody has any.>>Ilse Assmann: Any
questions for Andrea? Any comments?>>Andrea Kalas: Over
here, over there. Yeah?>>Ilse Assmann: Oh
George, over there.>>George: Do you have any
difficulty getting right for the images you’re
using in the presentation? [ Laughter ]>>Andrea Kalas: They’re all right. They are all from Paramount
Pictures except for the pizza one.>>Audience member: Can we
assume from your pizza example that there is a connection
between preservation of pizza, see within that digital– digitization of images cuts
out the taste of the original? [laughter]>>Andrea Kalas: You could– I think you can use that metaphor
anywhere you want, you know, I think– to my using that metaphor
was to say, I like pizza to eat, I don’t like it to last very
long and that doesn’t taste as good after a while, you know? I don’t see the point of keeping
pizza in plastic for a long time. That’s really what I meant is
that there may be more things than we really do need to archive
is really what I’m suggesting, that there are so much out there
that the idea of actually trying to figure out what to archive that
is digitally born is challenging and some of it we do, we may
be preserving some pizza, erroneously, accidentally, possibly. So that’s what I’m
trying to communicate.>>Audience member: I have
a real question, I’m sorry.>>Andrea Kalas: No, no.>>Audience member: How much are
the original resource material that made reference
to you, an original– [ Inaudible Remark ] — interest in and get
preservation and restoration. How much of the original
source of material of these original trends
should be preserved? Are they preserved once
they have been digitized.>>Andrea Kalas: I’ll
try to repeat that just so everybody can– I
hear your question OK? And if I go wrong just, you
know, you can throw things at me. He’s– the question was in
reference to a comment they made about fine grains which is if you
don’t know an intermediate element for film duplication, it’s
not the original negative, it’s the next generation of how many
of those things should be preserved? In my opinion, if you’ve got film
right now, you should keep it as long as you can, you know,
so those original materials, especially something like a
fine grain should be preserved in the best possible way, the best
possible environment, you know, as long as possible, those
are original materials. We do scan. We scan material at the best
highest quality all the time. We don’t throw the
film at afterwards, in answer to your question. I hope– does that
answer your question?>>Audience member: Yes. There are recommended standards– there are standards
and recommendation that will help most film materials
even in my trade that last for generations or
centuries which [inaudible].>>Andrea Kalas: I know, yeah and I have adopted
those, I agree with them.>>Ilse Assmann: Chris?>>Chris: Hi. Thank for entertaining me.>>Andrea Kalas: Hi Chris. Sure.>>Chris: So you said you were here
representing yourself but I’m going to put on the spot especially
we have two presidents of AMIA and IASA here have to do it. So I am just curious, you
talked a lot about, you know, the evolving skill set and
the role of the archivist. I’d love to hear how AMIA and
IASA are addressing the need for this evolving skills set
and what are your thoughts on how we move forward there?>>Andrea Kalas: Well
I go first and then.>>Ilse Assmann: You go first.>>Andrea Kalas: OK. I think that, you know, the events like digital asset symposium are
strongly-focused on trying to bring in new kinds of members, new kinds
of skill sets into the organization. I think workshops that happen before
this session including a hack day and other kinds of sessions. There’s a– There is a
digital preservation stream at this year’s conference,
I think trying to encourage the different kinds of
workshops and skills that’s there. Actually, our own education
committee which comes out of a lot of student memberships
has been amazing at– on their own, letting each other
know about new jobs and new kinds of training and events
and things like that. So, I think AMIA has had a
strong scholarship program for a really long time and that’s
been I think a really critical part of having students come in and
come back to the organization after they have graduated
and continuing their career and bringing new ideas into things. So that’s my AMIA answer.>>Ilse Assmann: From IASA’s
point of view, we’ve recognized that training is extremely critical
and we’ve set up a task force under the leadership of both Prentis
[assumed spelling] over here. Well I think you need
to just maybe stand up because this task force is
really very critical for us to build the framework
on where we need to go. And anybody who’s interested
in joining will within that task force is
really welcome to contact him. We’ve just launched
it and that is apart from our regular training
program where we go and do workshops as well. We’ve initiated a new student
membership and I’m glad to say that these couple of students
that have registered already or become members already, but we’ve
recognized that we actually need to move forward and we need to be far more proactive
than we’ve ever been. Apart from that, as
you know already, a technical committee is
extremely what’s the proactive. Not proactive, productive
in publish– publishing the standard so to speak. The first one was on ethical
standards for audio-visual objects and then came the TCO4 which
was standard for sound object. We also published the
storage, how to store object and now we’re busy
working on the video one. So, IASA is instrumental in doing
that and I think that’s all trying to incorporate this and
stay with the trends that we currently see
in the world, OK.>>Audience member: You spoke about
the kind of a standard– thank you. You spoke earlier just slight
about having a relationship with designated communities as part
of your responsibility as archivist. And I wonder if you could
just kind of address that in your particular case. What– who are your designated user
communities as you think of them, and how do you interrelate
with them?>>Andrea Kalas: At Paramount?>>Audience member: Yes.>>Andrea Kalas: At Paramount, our
designated community is Paramount. I mean, we are a corporate
archive, right? Our job is to preserve those
materials for people to sell them for airlines or for
Netflix or for Blue Ray or however they want
to distribute them. That’s our job, you know. We do take very seriously
the fact that another sort of designated community that’s
not necessarily what we get paid for is people that are
interested in film history and interested in history of film. And we do try to work with that as
much as possible as what we can do. But first and foremost,
we’re a corporate archive. I think, you know, the other
thing that’s about that phrase, designated communities, too is that
even though that might have been– I think that changes now
when you’re digitizing and put things online, right? So that you’re– what you actually
potentially got funding for, like I might have gotten
funding for, you know, preserving something
for a Blue Ray sale. Well now, you know, Paramount
actually does have a YouTube channel called the Paramount vaut. That might be there. That’s a different designated
community, similar to somebody who gets funding for educational use of a particular news
clip or something. But then it gets, you know,
sort of distributed faster. Our designated communities shift
and change and so I don’t– again, that phrase, even though it’s from only IASA’s is
useful because it’s true. We always have our immediate
responsibility as a repository, but I think its shifting
and changing.>>Audience Memberzz: Hi. Thank you very much for
a great presentation.>>Andrea Kalas: Thank you.>>Audience Member: My
question is regarding to their file names’ standards, that’s quite a long
file name standard. And I saw it’s sort of like a
two-pronged question is what drove your decision to include all of
those elements in the file name. And, you know, how long, like were
there other people involved in that and how long did it take
you to get people to agree? [laughter]>>Andrea Kalas: It’s an excellent
question and it really speaks to the heart of sort of what
we do daily because actually, we in archive group argued
against files names at all. We wanted everybody to
just use our attributes, we’d spend a long time using them and within our asset
management system and what do you mean filenames? We– We’ve put everything in here and we keep it constantly
refreshed and updated. So, you know, we didn’t have
3D yesterday but now we do. So the things that we didn’t call,
2D are now called 2D, you know? We keep that constantly updated,
so we were a little offended when, you know, our colleagues and other
departments, they are like, yeah, but we have to send these
files all over the place. And we can’t actually ensure that that metadata follows
that a file over time. And there are efforts right now
to try to, you know, correct that. But the file name was it– it’s like
reading the spine on a book really. It’s the sort of equivalent of
that for people, one-stop shopping and how they can read that? I really don’t know, but they do. And so, but the other part of
your question is absolutely part of that is that we’re not an
island or not in the archive. You know, we work with the people
that are in our mastering group and our distribution
group all the time. So, and we have weekly
change management meetings and that’s a critical part of the
development and implementation of any digital archive in my
opinion is stakeholder change management meetings. So you are all agreeing
on it because it’s– you don’t go anywhere
if you don’t do that. Any other? Well thanks again Ilse and
thanks everyone for your time. [ Applause ]>>This has been a
presentation of the Library of Congress, visit as at loc.gov.

Dereck Turner

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