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New Initiatives

The Smithsonian holds significant audiovisual (AV) collections which have been recognized nationally and internationally for their cultural and research value.

New Initiatives: Audiovisual Mass Digitization

The Smithsonian holds significant audiovisual (AV) collections which have been recognized nationally and internationally for their cultural and research value.

A multi-phase survey of AV collections has currently identified over 293,000 assets in three main AV formats. Many of these collections are at risk due to inherent vulnerabilities of those formats. Experts in audiovisual preservation estimate that some of these collections will be lost forever in the next 10 years if they are not preserved through digitization on a massive scale.

Since 2013, the DPO has developed and refined a mass digitization process resulting in a dramatic increase of the quality, quantity and throughput of digitization at the Smithsonian. As a result of these successes, the DPO has been asked to work with the Smithsonian’s AV community to adapt our methodologies to lay the foundation for an effective and sustainable mass digitization strategy to preserve these at-risk materials.