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Challenges of Film, Video, and New Media Preservation

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Increasingly, moving images are part of students' daily lives. Students record scenes they witness on their pocket digital movie cameras, download clips from free movie sites, and create remixes and mashups. Students recognize something that many libraries don't—that moving images are one of the richest ways of capturing events and that they tell us an immense amount about the history of their time, as well as current culture and styles.

Many academic libraries have collections of film and video that have been a low priority to organize, catalog, and preserve. One reason for the backlog is that this type of material requires different ways of thinking about handling, preservation, and browsing. In this talk, Howard Besser will discuss why moving image material is important and why it must be treated differently than paper or still photography. He will then discuss why traditional conservation approaches will not be effective for video or new media works and suggest that we adopt new conservation paradigms for dealing with them. Besser will also point to more recent projects and studies that will likely help academic libraries better deal with the older material in their collections and collect the rich set of material being created today.

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