Audiovisual Surveying

Audiovisual Surveying

Hello again, I talked a little bit about my intro into the various types of materials under “audiovisual” last week but this week I able to apply that knowledge. I had to fill out a survey which included fields like who is filling out this survey, what archive is this, what box of that archive is this, what type of AV material is in said box, is it a common format, if so which one, how many AV materials are in this box, do you know the year of creation for these materials, and other notes regarding preservation. So why am I doing this? Well the CCP is hoping to eventually get funding and hire someone to work solely on digital preservation. This will include the audiovisual material in the archives so before they hire someone they need an inventory of all the AV material. While I’m not expected to finish it, the survey I am doing right now is elaborating on a preliminary inventory. They have identified which boxes have AV material in them but in many cases not what type or how many.


Above is my rolling cart/desk for the week. Since I’m only old enough to barely remember VHS, Emily kindly provided this handy guide for AV identification. It’s been a lifesaver. So far, there are a lot of 1/2″ reel-to-reel tapes, U-matic, VHS, DVDs, and CDs. Most of the DVDs and CDs are viewing copies of VHS, reel-to-reel, or U-Matic tapes. This is done for preservation.

One of the best things to do for your AV and digital collections is to keep it in a moveable format. What does this mean? Well, for example, how many people (ignoring my parents and grandparents) still have and use a VHS player? It’s no longer a common format. DVD and CD players are more readily available so the best format would be DVD or CD. DVDs and CDs can also be played back without risk of damage. The more strain you put on a VHS the shorter its life will be. But that doesn’t mean throw out the original VHS! Preservation is about making objects and/or content accessible but you don’t want to lose the history that comes with the object itself. Like the difference between seeing Mona Lisa in person versus seeing an image of Mona Lisa in a magazine. Just because you’ve “seen” the Mona Lisa in a magazine doesn’t mean you’ve actually seen it, right?

Overall it’s been an interesting week. I went to my second college level photography class with Emily and actually saw an BASIS alumni in the class so that’s cool. Oh I was also filmed doing bits and pieces of my internship at the CCP. I can definitely say I prefer the other side of the camera.




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