Building Digital Audio Preservation Infrastructure and Workflows: UW Libraries Special Collections Holds More Than 3,000 Audio Recordings of Pacific Northwest Indigenous Languages. Format Migration Was Critical Because Many of the Languages Were Extinct or Endangered
Young, Anjanette, Olivieri, Blynne, Eckler, Karl, Gerontakos, Theodore, Computers in Libraries
In 2009 the University of Washington (UW) Libraries special collections received funding for the digital preservation of its audio indigenous language holdings. The university libraries, where all four authors work in various capacities, had begun digitizing image and text collections in 1997. Because of this, at the onset of the project, workflows (a metadata implementation group for help with schema development, storage architecture, schedules for backup, and procedures for recovery) were already in place. In addition, ResearchWorks Archive, an institutional repository built on the DSpace software platform, has been in place since 2003. Building a digital collection for noncommercial audio recordings, however, required additional infrastructure and workflows: In addition to the established workflow for metadata creation, recordings needed to be converted from analog to bitstream format. Also, a staging and ingest plan for the digital files and associated metadata had to be developed. This article addresses the development of this new infrastructure and workflow.
UW Libraries special collections holds more than 3,000 audio recordings of Pacific Northwest indigenous languages. These recordings, dating from the 1950s through the 1990s, document the stories, vocabulary, grammar, and songs of more than 50 native dialects. The reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, magnetic formats that have limited life expectancies even when carefully stored, were rapidly degrading. Format migration was critical because many of the languages on the recordings were extinct or endangered.
Special collections secured funding to conduct a survey of the libraries' Pacific Northwest (PNW) audio holdings. Partial funding for the project came from the Jacobs Research Funds, an organization based in Washington state that grants funds to linguists conducting field research. Once the survey was complete, prioritization for format migration was developed based on the intellectual value of recordings as determined by UW linguistics faculty member Sharon Hargus and Jacobs Research Funds board member Pamela …
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Publication information: Article title: Building Digital Audio Preservation Infrastructure and Workflows: UW Libraries Special Collections Holds More Than 3,000 Audio Recordings of Pacific Northwest Indigenous Languages. Format Migration Was Critical Because Many of the Languages Were Extinct or Endangered. Contributors: Young, Anjanette - Author, Olivieri, Blynne - Author, Eckler, Karl - Author, Gerontakos, Theodore - Author. Magazine title: Computers in Libraries. Volume: 30. Issue: 9 Publication date: November 2010. Page number: 24+. © 2008 Information Today, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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