“Research Services at the Motion Picture, Video and Recorded



“Research Services at the Motion Picture, Video and Recorded
Panoramic view of the Barcelona Exposition Spain. 1929
Records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic
Commerce (151-FC-106-67)
“Research Services at the Motion Picture, Video and Recorded Sound
Division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Enhancing Access and Outreach”
Carol Swain
National Archives and Records Administration
Research Services-DC
Motion Picture, Video and Recorded Sound
[email protected]
U.S. National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA)
NARA is the independent
agency of the United
States Government
responsible for acquiring,
securing, preserving, and
making accessible the
permanently valuable,
noncurrent records
generated by,
accumulated by or
donated to the Executive,
Legislative, and Judicial
Branches of the United
States federal
The documents in our care
belong to the citizens of the
United States.
Accessibility to the
documents that record the
rights and entitlements of
individuals, and the actions
of government agencies and
officials is a cornerstone of
our democracy.
Departure Statement of Wong
Kim Ark, 11/05/1894
ARC Identifier 2641490
Record Group 21
Item from Record Group 21: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 – 2004
File Unit: In the matter of Wong Kim Ark for a writ of habeas corpus, 1889 - 1931
“Charters of Freedom”
•The Declaration of Independence
•The Constitution
• The Bill of Rights
The Constitution of the
United States, compiled
09/17/1787 - 09/17/1787
Record Group 11
ARC Identifier: 1667751
MLR Number A-1 1
Family History and Genealogy
Immigration Records
Passenger Arrival Manifest
S.S. Carpathia arrived at the Port of New
York, April 18, 1912.
Photograph of Immigrants Outside
a Building on Ellis Island
ARC ID 595650/
Local ID 90-G-125-9
Record Group 90: Records of
the Public Health Service, 1794 1990
“Children of Barcelona” March 22, 1950
New York Times Photos. Photos Henry Ries
RG 306-NT- Box 1020F
Records date from the 18th century to the 21st century
Engrossed Declaration of Independence, 08/02/1776 08/02/1776
National Archives Identifier:1419123
Record Group 360: Records of the Continental and
Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional
Convention, 1765 - 1821
Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, September 19, 2005 -- A
FEMA Urban Search and Rescue dog takes a break by his
handlers muddy shoe after searching in neighborhoods impacted
by Hurricane Katrina.
National Archives Identifier:5692191
Local Identifier:311-MAD-17633
ARC Identifier 522890
Local Identifier 86-WWT-85-35
Record Group 86, Records of the
Women’s Bureau
“Line up of some women welders, including the women’s welding
champion of Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, MS”, 1943
Grand Jury Testimony
President Richard Nixon 23-24 June, 1975
Richard M. Nixon press conference releasing the
transcripts of the White House Tapes., 04/29/1974
ARC Identifier: 194576
(Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, CA)
“Democracy Starts Here”
NARA-A Brief History
M.B. Brady, photographer, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865
ARC Identifier 525437 / Local Identifier 111-B-1229
Item from Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief
Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985
NARA-A Brief History
NARA-A Brief History
A workman stands between the columns during the construction of the National Archives
Building in 1934. (64-NAC-207)
NARA-A Brief History
NARA-A Brief History
NARA-A Brief History
NARA-A Brief History
Storage of IBM record cards at the Federal records center in Alexandria, Virginia, November 1959.
Archives I Washington, D.C.
Archives II College Park, Maryland
NARA also administers 13 Presidential
Libraries and 22 regional archives facilities
across the United States.
Federal Records Center
17 Federal Records
 Provides storage for
both temporary and
permanent records of
all of the federal
government agencies.
 Records come from
federal ofices around
the country and around
the world-even from
outer space.
Scope of Records
Our holdings contain over 13 billion items and documents,
covering well over 3,000,000 cubic feet. Of course this
number grows considerably every year, as we acquire more
physical holdings as well as an increasing number of
electronic and “born digital” records.
Even so, of all documents and materials created in the course
of business conducted by the United States Federal
government, which of course is considerable, only 1%-3% is
so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept
by us forever.
What Kind of Records Does NARA Hold?
Our records can consist of basically any
form of information captured in a physical,
and now, digital form.
Printed matter
Motion picture films
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Electronic records
Where Records are Stored
Locations in the United States
Large portion of records are
housed at Archives I and Archives
II in the Washington, D.C. area.
25 % are housed at regional
archives, records centers, and
Presidential Libraries.
Repositories that, by special
agreement with the Archivist of
the United States, are affiliated
participants in the federal archival
Records of the United States
Federal Government
Three Branches of Government in U.S.
The Executive Branch
The Legislative Branch
The Judicial Branch.
The Executive Branch
President, the Vice President, his or
her Cabinet officials and advisors.
Records of the President and his
immediate staff and advisors are
held by the Presidential Libraries.
All Presidential administrations
since President Herbert Hoover
have a Presidential Library, which
are administered by NARA.
Presidential museums, run
independently from NARA but often
housed on the same grounds, have
exhibits relating to Presidential
administrations and often host
public programs.
The Executive Branch also consists
of Executive Departments including
the Department of State, the
Department of Defense, and the
Department of Commerce and
independent agencies, like NARA.
Legislative Branch
Consists of the United States
Congress- the United States House
of Representative and the United
States Senate.
NARA’s Center for Legislative
Archives holds the Legislative
Records of committee hearings and
House and Senate floor
proceedings but the papers of the
individual Representatives and
Senators are considered private
and not public records.
The Library of Congress and the
Government Printing Office are both
part of the Legislative Branch of
The Judicial Branch
The Judicial Branch consists of the
highest court in the land, the US
Supreme Court, which decides on
constitutional issues.
The Judicial Branch also includes
Federal District courts and other
courts with a Federal focus, which
are located throughout the United
States and records from these
courts are held by the NARA
regional archives in which the court
cases where heard.
Collections and Donated Materials
NARA also has donated materials
or collections, which have been
given to NARA by corporations,
such as the Ford Motor Company
and Universal Pictures and nonprofit groups such as the American
Red Cross, and by private
Many of our donated collections
consist of photographs, motion
pictures, and sound recordings.
The Library of Congress and the
Smithsonian Institution
People often think we basically hold everything, and while
we certainly have a lot of material, there are many other
institutions that hold material of interest to those researching
historical, social and cultural topics.
Two significant cultural heritage institutions, with which we
are sometimes confused, are also located in Washington,
D.C. These are the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is a
legislative library and the major
research arm of the U.S.
Serves as the copyright agency
of the United States
A center for scholarship that
collects research materials in
many media and in most subjects
from throughout the world, and is
the world's largest repository of
maps, atlases, printed and
recorded music, motion pictures,
and television programs. They
have a terrific web site, with a
number of wonderful digital
The Smithsonian Institution
The national museum of the
United States.
A center for research.
Sixteen museums and galleries.
National Zoo.
Research Centers.
Archives Center.
Question ?
What are some of the main differences between
conducting research in an archive and a library,
and how would you explain that difference to
researchers? Because this is the sort of question I
get all the time and I would like your help in
answering it.
Who We Are and What We Do
3,000 employees nationwide:
Information Technology
Library Science
Preservation Conservation
Archivist of the United States (AOTUS)
The current Archivist of the United
States, who is appointed by the
President, and confirmed by
Congress, is David Ferriero, who
has been at NARA since 2009.
He is the first professional librarian
to hold the position.
Appraisal, Processing, Description
Reference Services
Records Management
Record Managers work with
Federal agencies to ensure
that records are managed
properly before, during and
after they are sent to NARA.
Ensures compliance with
legally mandated records
Office of the Federal Register
Archivist considers the
recommendations of
NARA staff, and seeks
and considers the views
expressed by
originating agencies
and the public.
There is a public
comment period for
proposed records
schedules via the
Federal Register, the
“newspaper” of the U.S.
federal government.
Conservation and Preservation
Conservationists perform
activities which contribute to the
prolonged usable life of records
in their original format.
Preservation specialists work to
prolong the usable life of
archival records.
Digitization is an important part
of these efforts.
Conservation and Preservation
Conservation and Preservation
Magna Carta Conservation Treatment
Aims, Missions, Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
“Preserving the Past to Protect the Future”
Our Mission Statement
The National Archives and Records
Administration serves American
democracy by safeguarding and
preserving the records of our
Government, ensuring that the people
can discover, use, and learn from this
documentary heritage. We ensure
continuing access to the essential
documentation of the rights of American
citizens and the actions of their
government. We support democracy,
promote civic education, and facilitate
historical understanding of our national
Our Vision Statement
As the nation’s record keeper, it is our
vision that all Americans will understand
the vital role records play in a
democracy, and their own personal
stake in the National Archives. Our
holdings and diverse programs will be
available to more people than ever
before through modern technology and
dynamic partnerships. The stories of
our nation and our people are told in
the records and artifacts cared for in
NARA facilities around the country. We
want all Americans to be inspired to
explore the records of their country.
NARA is funded through an annual
appropriations budget, which is
submitted by the President to
Congress for approval. Our requested
budget for Fiscal Year 2012 in US
dollars is $422,501,000 or roughly
Outreach, education, and access
activities are supported by a private,
non-profit organization, the
Foundation for the National Archives.
Institutional Documents
All of NARA’s reports, plans and budgets and other institutional documents
are available on our web page:
Information about the Foundation for the National Archives, including
Annual Reports, can be found at http://www.archives.gov/nae/support/
Library of Congress Annual Report
Smithsonian Institution Annual Report
Organization of Records
Record Groups
Guide to Federal Records
Bush Presidential Library
Provenance of Records
NARA defines as:
The organization or individual that created, accumulated,
and/or maintained the documentary material in the conduct
of business prior to their legal transfer to NARA.
Work to maintain original order.
Record Group Clusters
Spain at NARA- Civilian/Foreign Affairs
RG 20-Office of the Special Advisor to the President on Foreign Trade
RG 43- International Conferences, Commissions, and Expositions
RG 59 - General Records of the Department of State
RG 76- Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations
RG 84- Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State
RG 229- Office of Inter-American Affairs
RG 286-Agency for International Development/RG 469 US. Foreign
Assistance Agencies, 1948-1961
RG 306- U.S. Information Agency
Spain at NARA- Defense /Related Activities
RG 18-Army Air Forces (when they were part of the US Army)
RG 19-Bureau of Ships (Navy) /RG 24-Bureau of Naval Personnel
RG 80-General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947
RG 111-Office of the Chief Signal Officer (Army)
RG 127-U.S. Marine Corps
RG 165-War Department General and Special Staffs (Army)
RG 208-Office of War Information
RG 226 OSS-Office of Strategic Services / RG 263-Central Intelligence
RG 242-National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized
RG 262-Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service
RG 330-Office of the Secretary of Defense
RG 342-U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations
RG 428-General Records of the Department of the Navy
RG 497-Africa-Middle East Theater of Operations (World War II)
Spain at NARA- Other Sources
Legislative Archives
Presidential Libraries
Donated Material
Regional Archives
State Archives
Municipal Archives
City Libraries-Special Collections/Local History
Historical Societies
Types of Records
The “container” for a
record’s intellectual
content (the information it
This can take many forms:
Textual Paper
PDF File
24,734 years:
Time it would take to
digitize and describe 13
billion records (at the rate
of one minute per
Textual (primarily paper)
Constitute the largest portion
of NARA's holdings.
Case files log books.
From RG 84 Project Files Pertaining to American Economic
Assistance Loans to Spain, 1950-1954
Textual Documents
Treaty with Spain, 08/14/1834
ARC Identifier 1656528
Item from Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 – 2006
Archives I Reference Section, Textual Archives Services Division, Washington, DC
Non-textual Records
Most non-textual materials are held at Archives II,
College Park, Presidential Libraries and Regional Archives
Non textual consists of:
Special Media: Electronic Records
Special Media: Cartographic and Architectural Records
Special Media: Photographs and Graphic Works
Special Media: Motion Pictures, Video, and Recorded Sound
“Abraham Zapruder Camera”
“Naturaliza Muerta, 1915" Diego Rivera
(Still Life, 1915), - ca. 12/31/1915
ARC Identifier 192416
Artifacts from the National Archives and Records
Administration. Office of Presidential Libraries. Lyndon B.
Johnson Library and Museum. (04/01/1985 - )
National Archives Identifier: 305171
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Exhibits,
compiled 11/30/1963 - 09/24/1964,
documenting the period ca. 1959 – 1964
Record Group 272: Records of the President's
Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1954 - 1965
Special Media- Electronic Records
NARA first took custody of
electronic records in 1968.
 Some date World War II and
reflect punch card technology
in use since the 1880s.
 Most of the electronic records
in NARA's holdings have
been created since the 1960s
and the volume of these
records grows much larger
every year in the digital and
social media age.
ERA The Electronic Records Archives (ERA)
PREMIS (PREservation Metadata:
Implementation Strategies)
NARA's new system that allows
Federal agencies to perform
critical records management
transactions with NARA online.
 ERA will be the way Federal
agencies send their electronic
records to NARA in the future
Archives for accessioning or
pre-accessioning, and to
submit electronic records for
storage and preservation.
 ERA has begun to use the
PREMIS (PREservation
Metadata: Implementation
Strategies) digital preservation
metadata standard, developed
by the Library of Congress.
Special Media
Cartographic and Architectural Works
John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln , 1912
ARC Identifier 2581315 / Local Identifier Inventory 16, E367, A-5
Item from Record Group 42: Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the
National Capital, 1790 - 1992
Drawing of Fan Moved by Mechanism: 11/27/1830 - 11/27/830
ARC Identifier 594907 / Local Identifier Restored Patent 6263X
Item from Record Group 241: Records of the Patent and
Trademark Office, 1836 - 1978
Special Media-Photographs and Graphic
Works –”Still Pictures”
8 million photographs and
graphic images.
1850s to the present.
All types of photographic
Most located at College
Park and Presidential
Libraries, but some may
be interfiled with textual
“We Can Do It!” Other Title: Rosie the Riveter
ARC Identifier 535413 / Local Identifier 179-WP-1563
Record Group 179 Records of the War Production Board, 1918 - 1947
Looking across lake toward mountains, "Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park,"
Montana., 1933 - 1942
ARC Identifier 519861 / Local Identifier 79-AA-E06
Item from Record Group 79: Records of the National Park Service, 1785 - 2006
Ansel Adams
Documentary photography
project by the Environmental
Protection Agency in the
More than 70 photographers.
More than 15,000 from this
project online in our catalog
and on our Flickr page.
“Hitchhiker with his dog, Tripper, on U.S. 66, 05/1972”
ARC ID 549112 Local ID 412-DA-6626
RG 412 Environmental Protection Agency
RG 306 U.S. Information Agency
"L'Actualite A Barcelone..."
La foule sur les ramn blas ecoute les nouvelles diffusees par le
poste de Radio Catalunya.
17/8/1936 HL 120
 Record Group 306-NT, from
the collection of the United
States Information Agency
 Donated to the United States
Information Agency (USIA)
by the Paris Bureau of the
New York Times
 Covers the time period from
roughly 1900-1950.
 Those with a stamp by the
Times Paris Bureau are
considered to be in the public
domain, as per the deed of
Special Media-Motion Pictures
One of the largest
collections of noncommercial film in the
Our collection includes:
Over 500,000 cans of film.
Over 400,000 audio
Nearly 100,000
Archival Set
Preservation “P” copy.
Reproduction or Intermediate
“I” copy-film, video, now 2/4 k
digital scan.
Reference copy: Umatic, VHS,
DVD,film, audio reel, cassette,
CD, digital file.
Special Media-Motion Pictures, Video and
Recorded Sound
Color and black
and white film,
most 16 or 35mm.
Audio glass disc
masters and other
“legacy” or
“obsolete” formats
to digital audio
Videotapes range
from Two-inch
quad tapes to
Digital Betacam
and HD.
Film Storage
Cold and cool storage are effective buffers against acetate decomposition
and the resulting "vinegar syndrome". NARA stores black and white acetate
preservation copies at 35 degrees F, 18 C and 35% RH in an offsite,
underground facility. NARA stores color film preservation copies onsite at
Archives II at 25 degrees F, -4 C and 35% RH.
Edison's greatest marvel--The Vitascope
Date Created/Published: New York : Metropolitan Print Company, c1896.
LC-DIG-ppmsca-05943 (digital file from original print, no. 1a, post-conservation)
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
“Carmencita, Spanish Dance,03/1894”
“Carmencita”, 1890
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)
Oil on canvas
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
ARC Identifier 89052
Local Identifier 200.195
Item from Collection ARMAT: Thomas Armat
Collection, 1894-ca. 1900.
Special Media-Motion Pictures, Video and
Recorded Sound
Surrogate Records
In the Motion Picture
Research Room,
researchers only access
surrogate, or reference
copies of the original film,
video or audio recording.
“The Shoeboxes”
Special Media-Motion Pictures, Video and
Recorded Sound
Finding Aids
Catalog Cards
Vertical files/Subject
Finding Aids
Agency catalogs
Production files
Reference Reports
Special Media-Motion Pictures, Video and
Recorded Sound
Special Media-Motion Pictures, Video and
Recorded Sound
Ford Motor Company Film Collection
“Ford Motor Iberica, Barcelona,
Spain, ca. 1948”
ARC Identifier 93385/
Local Identifier 200 FC-4256
Item from Collection FC: Ford
Motor Company Collection, ca.
This Ford Collection clip is
preserved as a 35mm silent
duplicate negative at NARA.
This clip taken from a Umatic
reference tape
Consists of about 3,400 films.
Document Ford Motor plant
activities in the United States and
around the world.
Popular with researchers because
there is also footage depicting
scenes of everyday life starting at
the turn of the century through the
late 1940s and early 1950s.
Much of the original Ford material
was shot on nitrate film stock,
which produced a beautiful image,
but was highly combustible.
Films from the Ford collection were
transferred to acetate “safety”
stock by the late 1970s.
“Atoms for Peace Exhibit in Barcelona”
ARC Identifier 52034
Local Identifier 306.5820
Item from Record Group
306: Records of the U.S.
Information Agency,
From the United States Information Agency
This is a short film called “Atoms for
Peace”, which was part of a President
Eisenhower-era program geared to the
sharing of atomic technology for peaceful
Part of the program’s outreach and
educational efforts were a series of exhibits
shown in seven countries. A special exhibit
was prepared for the Valencia and
Barcelona Trade Fairs.
Little documentation of film itself.
How could you describe these items to
make them more accessible?
Linked data in the catalog record?
Other ideas?
Access at NARA-“Opening the Vaults”
Anyone can use the Archives.
 You do not have to register to
search our catalog.
 On site research-must be 14
years of age and present
photo identification to obtain a
Research Card.
 You do not need to present
credentials or a letter of
recommendation to use the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
FOIA Reference Guide:
Access restrictions to records would
involve those with classification or
national security issues, which can
be researched through the Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA).
Access and Outreach Online
En Español
Access to Our Records
Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
More than 7 million
items described on at
least a collection or
series level
Approximately 70% of
our holdings. Most
NARA records are
described at the
collection, series or
folder level.
Digital items available
in ARC.
Motion Picture Division
Level of Description varies
Descriptions on item level with at least a title
Torrejon Air Force Base, Madrid, Spain, 12/1959
ARC Identifier 83053 /
Local Identifier 428-NPC-27922
Item from Record Group 428: General Records
of the Department of the Navy, 1941 - 2004
Franco: Spain, 1963
ARC Identifier 894486 / Local Identifier 263.3015
Item from Record Group 263: Records of the
Central Intelligence Agency, 1894 - 2002
Online Public Access (OPA)
Online Public Access, or
“OPA” prototype
“Federated” catalog
Pulls together all of our
online informational
resources into one
interface, including our
social media pages.
Will eventually replace
Social Metadata- “Tags”
Will“citizen archivists”
to contribute “social
metadata or “tags” to
the catalog to
enhance description
Web site User Experience/ UX
Steve Krug “Don’t Make Me Think”
NARA’s Web site and
Clearness of purpose?
Well organized?
Can a researcher find
the information they are
looking for?
Instructions/help is
easy to find and use?
Access Through Public Programs
Public programs at
Archives I
Archives II
Regional Archives
Presidential Libraries
and Museums
Access Through Public Programs
We also offer classes for
the public on how to use
our records, and other
events such as lectures,
panel discussions, book
discussions, and film
Most are free of charge.
Lead by NARA staffarchivists, specialists,
technicians and
Access Through Public Programs
Classes and
educational workshops
Special Events
Book discussions
development training
online and in person
NARA 2.0
Social Media at NARA
Extend the reach of our
Promote transparency and
open government.
Encourage engagement among
staff and researchers.
“Go to where the users are”.
YouTube channel.
Pages on Flickr Commons.
Twitter , Facebook and iTunes
YouTube Channel
Flickr The Commons
Wikipedia Commons
Social Media
Which of NARA’s social media tools would you use and
Who Uses NARA-User Groups
Professional researchers
Employees of federal
Who Uses NARA-User Groups in Motion
Members of the media
Academic researchers
Who Uses NARA-User Groups
researchers conduct
research on an almost
daily basis for various
 We hold regular
meetings with
Washington, DC-based
researchers in order to
hear concerns from
them, as well as share
information and update
them on projects and
Who Uses NARA-User Groups
Genealogists or family
historians use census
records to learn
people's names, ages,
and who lived where,
and when. They check
passenger arrival lists
from boats that
originated in Europe to
prove when an
immigrant landed in
the United States.
Genealogists also
often look at military
service records, as
well as land,
naturalization, and
passport records,
photographs and
motion pictures.
Who Uses NARA-User Groups
Educators frequently use
the National Archives to
develop primary-source,
document-based lesson
plans and to help bring
history alive for their
 Many college and
doctoral candidate
students use the archives
for primary source
Who Uses NARA-User Groups
Tourists and visitors
to Washington and
the Presidential
libraries and
View exhibits.
Attend Public
Programs .
Copyright and U.S. Government Works
U.S. Copyright Office
Part of the Library of
Information online
Definition of a Government Work
Questions concerning copyright status are commonly
asked by Motion Picture researchers
Must caution that while a United
States government work is in the
public domain, an item may
contain material under copyright
or other intellectual property or
proprietary restrictions.
 Items acquired by an agency or
donated to NARA may contain
material under copyright or other
intellectual property rights.
We are not lawyers, and cannot
provide any legal advice, but we
can help point researchers in the
right direction to investigate
copyright status themselves.
Copyright Resources
The United States Copyright Office
The State of Recorded Sound Preservation
in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk
in the Digital Age
National Recording Preservation Board
Library of Congress
 http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub148abst.html
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United
States", by Cornell University.
Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office
Conservation and Preservation at NARA
Conservation activities at
NARA contribute to the
prolonged usable life of
records in their original
format. The Conservation
Lab repairs and stabilizes
textual records (un-bound
papers, bound volumes,
and cartographic items)
and photographic images
and provides custom
housings for these records
as needed.
Preservation activities
encompass the activities
which prolong the usable
life of archival records.
Preservation activities are
designed to minimize the
physical and chemical
deterioration of records
and to prevent the loss of
informational content.
Preservation and Reformatting of Audio Visual
Preservation and reformatting activities are
especially important with audio visual
records, due to the constant evolution of the
many technologies used to create, store and
access, or playback, these records.
Activities include:
•Duplicating and high resolution scanning.
•Reformatting of audio and video recordings
in obsolete formats that cannot be used on
currently-available playback equipment.
These program activities result in the
removal of fragile records from use, while still
providing access to their informational
content by capturing the information in a new
Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for
Public Access, 2007-2016
Strategy One
NARA will gather and make available on the web archival materials that we
have already digitized in the course of performing our agency functions, but
for one reason or another are not available online.
Strategy Two
NARA will establish partnerships with organizations from a variety of
sectors (private, public, non-profit, educational, Government) to digitize and
make available holdings.
Strategy Three
NARA will conduct digitizing projects on its own with materials that are not
appropriate for partnerships.
Strategy Four
NARA will pursue digitization of archival materials as part of its preservation
reformatting approach.
Strategy Five
To ensure that users everywhere can access all of our digitized records, we
will continue to make our online catalog (currently the Archival Research
Catalog, ARC) a hub for discovering NARA's digital images.
Digitization Services Branch
Four reformatting labs plus
a development team:
Photographic Imaging,
Microfilm and Textual
Preservation Lab.
Audio Preservation Lab.
Video Preservation Lab.
Motion Picture
Preservation Lab.
Digitization Services
Products and Services
Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines
Initiative (FADGI)
National Digital Information Infrastructure and
Preservation Program (NDIIPP)
Reformatting of Audio Visual Materials
Types of Decay-Film
Deformation in size and
shape-shrinkage, cracks
and tears, buckle,
emulsion fogging
Dye fading, silvering out
Vinegar Syndrome
Mold, insects, animals
Digital Reformatting
SAMMA Project-Standard Definition
Video is an at risk format,
since there have been so
many formats introduced
over the years.
Technology used to play
them is increasingly more
difficult to maintain.
Magnetic videotape, like
film and other mediums,
will degrade over time.
Project Summary:
Migrate reference
collection of approximately
10,000 Umatic videotapes
to create digital files which
we can use to create
reference DVDs as well as
upload digital copies to
their associated
descriptive catalog
Also reformatting Universal
reference collection to
Digital Reformatting
SAMMA Project-Standard Definition Videotapes
Digital Reformatting
SAMMA Project-Standard Definition
The machine being used to ingest and migrate these records is a
SAMMA robotic system, which is also being used by the Library of
Congress Packard Audio Visual Conservation Center to reformat and
preserve their collection of Umatic videotapes.
SAMMA captures uncompressed AVI files, which can be used to
reformat for use on the web (we are currently using Windows Media
(wmv.) files for this purpose.
Digital Reformatting
SAMMA Project-Standard Definition
AB, SPAIN, 06/08/1967 06/11/1967
ARC Identifier 70628 / Local
Identifier 342-USAF-43559
Item from Record Group 342:
Records of U.S. Air Force
Commands, Activities, and
Organizations, 1900
Challenges and Opportunities of Digital
Technology for Audio Visual Preservation
Some Challenges:
Data storage and the Infrastructure needed to deliver files.
Volume of records.
Digital Technologies are not yet the best method for
“preserving” film. NARA still values film stocks as a carriers
of information and as a long –term preservation format.
Digital obsolescence.
High resolution digital capture is slow.
Film telecine is expensive.
Challenges and Opportunities of Digital
Technology for Audio Visual Preservation
Some Opportunities
Digital files allow us to reuse, remix and “mash up” the
materials on multiple platforms.
Researcher demand for digital transfers and access to
digital files is increasing.
Digital technology is a useful tool in “restoring” film.
Digital intermediates and access copies minimize the
risks associated with handling film elements.
Unknown future of film stock; access to digital
technologies may be more reliable in the future
Additional Resources
AMIA – Association of Moving Image Archivists http://www.amianet.org/
Association of Recorded Sound Collections http://www.arsc-audio.org/
The Film Foundation http://www.film-foundation.org
Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation
FIAF – International Federation of Film Archives http://www.fiafnet.org/
The Home Film Preservation Guide http://www.filmforever.org/
Independent Media Arts Preservation http://www.imappreserve.org
National Film Preservation Board http://www.loc.gov/film/
National Film Preservation Foundation http://www.filmpreservation.org/
Training of Archivists and Librarians at
NARA and in the U.S.
Background/degree in history of Library Science.
NARA Archival and Specialist Development Programs.
Professional Development Programs.
Professional Membership organizations.
Library and Information Science (LIS) Education
Many archivists now have LIS degrees.
LIS programs are Masters programs.
Programs generally 12 courses/36 credits.
Schools should be accredited by the American
Library Association (ALA).
Directory of Accredited Programs”
American Library Association
Professional Organizations
The Society for American Archivists (SAA)
 Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
 Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC)
 American Library Association (ALA)
 Special Libraries Association (SLA)
MSLIS / MFA Digital Arts
Project Chart-Digitizing Brooklyn History
Pratt LIS students
work with the
Brooklyn Museum,
the Brooklyn Public
Library and the
Brooklyn Historical
Society to digitize
collections of
Brooklyn, New York.
Digital Humanities Librarian
John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University Libraries
(Academic Library)
RESPONSIBILITIES: The Digital Humanities
Librarian will provide support to faculty and
students through the integration of digital
resources, methodologies, technologies, and
analytical tools with traditional resources and
approaches to research and instruction in the
The Digital Humanities Librarian will. Will also work
with the other Dana librarians to advise teaching
faculty on the creation and curation of digital
objects in a variety of image, audio, and video
formats, fostering collaboration between
scholars, technologists, and information
specialists and will offer leadership in
identifying, understanding, evaluating, and
implementing emerging technologies based on
their pedagogical, presentation, and research
uses in the fields of visual and performing arts
as well as writing and journalism and shepherd
digital projects involving Dana and the Institute of
Jazz Studies collections from inception to
QUALIFICATIONS: Required: ALA-accredited
Master’s degree in Library and Information
Science. Degree in a humanities discipline, or
strong humanities reference experience.
Knowledge of the research and instructional
needs of humanities faculty. Experience in an
academic library environment, including
reference and public services. Knowledge of
metadata schema (MARC, MODS, METS, EAD,
TEI, or Dublin Core) and library applications
of emerging technologies. Good
communication and interpersonal skills. Skill
in collaboration and teamwork in an academic
environment. Strong service orientation and
understanding of user needs
Librarian II – Digital Information and Reports Liaison
(Public Library)
Bring your librarian skills and technical
knowledge to this exciting position as
a Librarian II – Digital Information and
Reports Liaison for the Washington
County Cooperative Library Services.
You will work with the technical
services related aspects of the
integrated library system (ILS)
including activities ranging from those
traditionally associated with technical
services such as acquisitions, serials,
cataloging and authority control to
metadata creation with an emphasis
on new formats, electronic
resources and digital objects.
Successful candidates will possess a
Master's level education in Library
Science from an accredited American
Library Association program and a
minimum of two years of recent and
professional level library technical
service experience.
Washington County Cooperative Library
Services , Hillsboro, OR
(Public Library)
Digital Media Librarian / Archivist
(Private Company)
Splice Here, Minneapolis, MN
This position will focus on the input,
organization, archiving and retrieval of digit
Primary Responsibilities:
• Create and maintain a Client Media Asset
Management System.
• Ingest and process all media for input into
the system.
• Clean Metadata and maintain data entry
standards to insure a stable, consistent and
secure database environment.
• Traffic media to and from client locations as
well as to and from client libraries.
• Assist clients with exporting and transferring
media from the MAM system.
• Design storage strategies around backup
and recovery.
• Identify and initiate resolutions to user
problems and concerns associated with
database server equipment (hardware and
software). al media assets.
College degree in Library
Science/Information Science, Computer
Science or Information Technology is
required. Must be extremely organized and
detail oriented and have the knowledge and
ability to perform in all of the basic database
management skills of database
administration, web connectivity, physical
structure, overall architecture, and database
analysis. Knowledge of CatDV and Prestor
software preferred. Customer service
experience a plus.
To apply, please send a resume to
[email protected] and note Digital Media
Librarian in the subject line of your
email. No phone calls or drop-ins
A few questions for you now:
Please tell me a bit about your training?
What is expected of you in the professional world?
What types of opportunities or jobs will you pursue when you
Contact Information
Carol Swain, Reference Archivist
Research Services-DC
Motion Pictures, Video and Recorded Sound Division
T: 301.837.2920
F: 301.837.3520
[email protected]
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 3360
College Park, MD 20740-6001