“Working in an archive can quickly become a routine. So we must challenge ourselves in the field itself.”

An interview with historian, professor of Spanish Language and Literature and archivist researcher at RTV Slovenia Katja Šturm about her institute, her profession and the future of audio-visual archives.

Katja Šturm started working at RTV Slovenia as a history student in a part time assistant job on the EUscreen project in July 2010, shortly after its beginning in 2009. Together with her colleague Aleksander Lavrenčič she performed the selection, cataloging, contextualization and upload of selected audio-visual content on the EUscreenXL portal (now EUscreen portal) and Europeana.

( Read more…)

Audiovisual digitisation, preservation and long-term access

preservation

Register now for PrestoCentre’s Preservathon on AV Preservation Storage Solutions, taking place in Turin on 25 – 26 June 2014.

Learn to select the best storage solution for your AV archive
There is no such thing as ‘everlasting’ data storage. Digital preservation requires the indefinite, error free storage of information, together with the means for its retrieval and interpretation, irrespective of changes in technologies, support and data formats, or changes in the requirements of the user community. Any choice of storage solution, therefore, involves careful consideration, needs assessment, long-term cost evaluation and so on. Where and when do vendors become involved and what do you need to know about them and their products before you make your decision?

Target Audience
Library and archive technologists, directors of collection care and IT advisors interested in the various motivations and priorities of storage for digital audiovisual media across different domains.

Learning Objectives
After this Preservathon you:

  • Will have a better understanding of the concept of procurement and vendor rating;
  • Will be able to map organisational requirements to the market of storage solutions;
  • Will have a better understanding of functionality vs technology;
  • Will have a better understanding of costs (full costs of ownership).

The Preservathon will take place on 25-26 June at Rai “Museo della Radio”, Turin, Italy. The first day will be a hands-on workshop where teams will learn what is involved selecting the best long-term audiovisual storage solution. The second day will host a mini-conference. This Preservathon is made possible by the Presto4U project.

More information: www.prestocentre.org/events/preservathon/storage-2014

Licenses for a digital Europe: a report from the final session

In today’s digital context there are many new ways of providing, creating and distributing content as well as new ways to generate value. In order to ensure that copyright and licensing stay fit for purpose in this world, the European Commission started a stakeholder dialogue titled Licenses for Europe. Its main purpose was to deliver “rapid progress in bringing content online through practical, industry-led solutions.” The initiative held its final plenary session on November 13th in Brussels.

Report by Réka Markovich, ELTE University

Participants of the dialogue included representatives from interested parties such as consumer and digital rights organizations – and the topic touches on the lives of many. IT and technology companies, internet service providers, film heritage institutions, broadcasters, public libraries, authors, producers, performers and other copyright rightholders in the audiovisual, music, publishing and video game industries all took part. However, as the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRI) points out, after 10 months of debate, there is little consensus between these different stakeholder groups as to how to make EU copyright fit for the digital age in law and in practice. The final plenary meeting provided an opportunity for the different working groups to report-back to the plenary on their conclusions. The main critique of the EDRI is that in the process, all attention went to establishing relationships between rights holders and platform developers – thus excluding other approaches and larger attempts at a much needed copyright reform. In their words: In the current technological environment, copyright affects ordinary citizens and many professionals, such as teachers and cultural heritage professionals, that are not represented by the two industries that Commission’s approach suggests are the only legitimate stakeholders. There are user rights at stake in this discussion that are extremely important in fields other than popular culture, in particular in education, but also for political expression and democratic participation.

At this final meeting, moderator Norman Jardine invited the four thematic working groups each in turn to introduce their results and outcomes.

Cross-border Access

From Working Group1, which has worked on cross-border access and portability of services, the sub-group of Print — represented by Fabian Paagman — was the first on the floor. Fabian introduced a roadmap by e-book sector on improved availability of e-books across borders and across devices. Their statement is available to read here.

Bertrand Moullier from IFTA represented the sub-group Audiovisual in WG1 and talked about cross-border portability of subscription services, introducing a joint statement by the audiovisual industry. Gradually offered cross-border portability would make it easier for consumers to legally access films and TV programmes from their home member state when travelling abroad on holidays or business trips. The representatives of this sector (twelve organisations) affirmed their willingness to continue to work towards this.

User-generated Content

Working Group2 has worked on user-generated Content and Licensing for Small-scale Users of Protected Material. Frances Lowe, representing PRS for Music and GESAC, talked on what kind of commitments the music sector has made on easier licensing for music. So did Olivia Regnier from IFPI, who announced a pan-European licensing scheme for small-scale users.
Anita Huss-Ekerhult from IFRRO introduced a toolkit solution proposed by the rights holder communities in the print industry for licensing including micro-licensing in text and images works. You can find this toolkit here [PDF].

The next speaker from WG2 was Angela Mills Wade from EPC, with a pledge to enable the identification of your work and rights online. This introduced roadmap enables creators to attach a machine-readable identification to their content, which helps using and re-using content. Sarah Davis, commercial legal director of the Guardian Media Group introduced a declaration on improving the user experience in the digital environment, that is: How to involve readers more actively in online press.

After these pledges the time had come for presentations. Paul Keller from Kennisland voiced a critical opinion on the results of WG2 and drew attention to the difference between licensing and creating user rights. After Paul we heard two presentations on user-generated content: from the perspective of YouTube from the European IP Policy Manager of Google, Tobias McKenney, and from the perspective of Sony ATV’s Antony Bebawi.

Audiovisual Heritage

Nicola Mazzanti, president of ACE talked about the agreement on principles and procedures between rights holders and European film heritage institutes, pursuing the goal of getting more heritage films online. This statement was signed at the end of the plenary meeting. With this statement, film heritage institutions and film producers now have a clearer agreement on how to go about digitizing, restoring and making available European film heritage without requiring changes in legislation. Nicola Frank from EUscreenXL partner EBU introduced the discussion between public broadcasters and rights holders on freeing up TV archive footage through digitization. Considering that we have to count on a myriad of rights holders, clearing the rights makes the use of such materials highly expensive and time-consuming, so participants agreed to find solutions.

James Taylor, communications officer of the SAA introduced in a pledge the audiovisual industry’s declaration to improve the identification and discoverability of audiovisual content online. The parties here declared to make current standards interoperable and to use them widely, which should help streamline their distribution.

Text and data Mining

The fourth working group focused on Text and Data Mining. Here only Eefke Smit from STM talked about the scientific publisher’s commitment on easier text and data mining of subscription-based material for non-commercial researchers. As a solution, publishers proposed a licensing clause, a “mining portal” and a “click-through license”.

Views of the European Commission

After these pledges and presentations, the three commissioners — by whom this dialogue was jointly led — evaluated the results of the dialogue. All of them mentioned that first of all, practical solutions were required.

  • Vice-President Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda for Europe) expressed her gratitude for the stakeholders’ workmanship. At the same time, however, she expressed that she did not consider the achievements of the stakeholder dialogue conclusive. As an exception, she highlighted the fruitfulness of working group 3 on audiovisual heritage. Ms. Kroes stressed that this nine-month-long project was only the first track in the process and results of it will feed into an ongoing track: the legislative review. She committed that Commission will seriously consider all possible legislative proposals.
  • Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) also stressed that parallel work is necessary: stakeholders’ dialogue and legislative review. She said users need more clarity and transparency both on their rights and their obligations. Like ms. Kroes, Commissioner Vassiliou zoomed in on the results from the audiovisual heritage working group. She said this agreement opened the door to one million hours of European film works. She also mentioned the joint agreement on the cross-border portability of subscription services as a remarkable achievement.
  • Commissioner Michael Barnier (Internal Market and Services) said that ”we need more single market on the Internet and more Internet on the single market” and he mentioned a recent economic study according to which the creative industry creates more jobs in Europe than the car manufacturing industry does. Commissioner Barnier announced that a final decision on a review process will be taken in spring 2014.

Conclusions

With this final plenary meeting, the Licences for Europe dialogue came to an end. The Commission will follow up more specifically on some of these initiatives, such as the agreement to carry out an ad hoc dialogue on broadcasting archives, where further work will have to be carried out as a result of Licences for Europe. In all cases, the Commission will continue to provide information on the state of implementation of the different initiatives. The Commission is currently working on an Impact Assessment and in this context will shortly launch a public consultation on the on-going review.

In EUscreenXL, we recently closed our first stakeholder survey, directed at collections managers and legal experts. It was held to obtain a pan-European overview of the difficulties memory organisations and audiovisual archives experience when they decide to bring their collections to the web. Together with Europeana, we plan to hold an IPR-focused workshop in early spring in order to develop the policy and advocacy steps the audiovisual heritage domain can take to improve the public’s access to audiovisual sources through the web.

More information

  • The official press release is available here
  • Read the European Digital Rights Initiative’s response here.
  • You can find the final document with ten pledges with their signatories here [PDF]
  • The lists of participants in the four working groups are available on the Licences for Europe website.
  • To get all the details of the session, it is worth it to watch the full video stream.
  • To read more about the participation of the cultural heritage field in the Licenses for Europe trajectory, read Réka’s report on Second Europeana Licensing workshop.

PrestoCentre Training Course 2011: Long-Term Audiovisual Digital Preservation. Strategy, Planning and Tools

Press release by PrestoCentre

From 12-16 September in Paris and Bry-sur-Marne, France, PrestoCentre organises as part of its Professional Development Training Series a course in “Long-Term Audiovisual Digital Preservation: Strategy, Planning & Tools”. Participants in the course include large audiovisual archives, service providers and technology providers.

Training Course Summary
The audiovisual (AV) record of the 20th century is at risk, with digitisation being a solution, but this created a new problem: the preservation of digital AV content. Managers and technical staff of the AV industry need to be knowledgeable of, and understand how to use, the latest digital preservation technologies, in order to procure the safety of these documents of cultural heritage. Based on the experiences of some of the largest audiovisual and broadcast archives in Europe, this training will give a complete account of the tools and technologies available for the digital preservation of, and access to, audiovisual content, outlining strategies, workflows and architecture planning. In addition, the training provides a range of informative visits to a variety of relevant sites.

Course Topics
Strategy; preservation planning; OAIS; workflow; architecture; mass storage; formats; encoding; compression; metadata; preservation metadata; quality control; service management; risk management; rights management; partnerships; state of the art; support mechanisms; future developments.

More Information and Registration
Visit http://training2011.prestocentre.eu for programme, background and more information. Registration is limited to 40 delegates, so click here to register now.

About PrestoCentre
PrestoCentre brings together a community of stakeholders in audiovisual digitisation and digital preservation to share, work and learn. PrestoCentre helps custodians and creators of audiovisual content make the most of their digital archives through advocacy, information creation, knowledge leveraging, and valuable practical workshops. Using free tools and simple strategies PrestoCentre saves you money and time whilst improving long-term access to your digital audiovisual collections. PrestoCentre does this by helping you share your experiences and learn from best practices.

Historic Travel Documents Make Online Debut

Press release by the European Library

Take a journey to the North Pole, book your ticket on a 1930s car trip through eastern Europe or flip through hundreds of historic postcards, maps and guidebooks. These are among over 500 items that have been collected from 13 prestigious national and university libraries in Europe for Travelling Through History – a virtual exhibition created by The European Library.

The opening of the exhibition marks the first time that many of these important historical documents can be accessed online. They were digitised for the EuropeanaTravel project, and the assembled collection covers a broad geographical and historical range. India, Japan, Central Africa and the South Pacific are some of the destinations represented, with objects dating from the 12th century to modern times.

A leather-bound photograph album, documenting a tour around Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, is one of the exhibition highlights. Evans was a prolific traveller, who became famous for his excavation of Knossos Palace on the Greek island of Crete. The trip in 1932 retraces a similar journey Evans made on foot in 1875.

The visitors’ book of Dutch scientist and physician Bernardus Paludanus (1550-1633) is also fascinating. This bulky little album with about 1,900 contributions was signed by the many people who visited Paludanus at his home in the Netherlands. It also accompanied Paludanus on his travels to places as far away as Palestine, and includes illustrations by Italian artists of Venetian beauties and a gondola voyage.

Other curiosities include an 1821 visitors’ guide to Poland, and a Baroque map in the shape of a Rose. Vienna – the capital of the Hapsburg Empire – forms the stem of the flower, while the petals of the flower spread across Bohemia. The map is embellished with the crown and the motto of King Leopold I, who ruled over much of Central Europe in the 1680s.

Each object in Travelling Through History is accompanied by curatorial information in English and the main language of the contributing institution. Most objects can also be downloaded.

EUscreen publishes its first Online Access to Audiovisual Heritage Status Report

Press release

Increasing access to digitised audiovisual heritage in particular and cultural heritage in general, has become an important topic for institutions in the field of cultural heritage, policy-makers, national governments and the European Commission. This report, written by Wietske van den Heuvel and Lotte Belice Baltussen focuses on access to audiovisual heritage in general and specifically, access in an educational setting.

The report consists of two parts. Part one outlines the general status of online access to audiovisual heritage and focuses on creating a business model for platforms with audiovisual content and on the value proposition of audiovisual content. Additionally, an overview of revenue models with examples is provided. Part two describes the access to online audiovisual heritage from an educational perspective and contains an inventory of educational platforms and a methodology for the analysis of these platforms. A selected set of platforms is analysed and the results are used to outline the specific value propositions for education. Occurring revenue models in the educational field are analysed and alternatives are presented.

The full report can be accessed here.

Connect to 400 years of history through millions of historical records

JISC news release

Millions of historical records have become more accessible to the public through a JISC funded project at the universities of Hertfordshire, London and Sheffield. Connected Histories provides a single point of access to a wide range of distributed digital resources relating to early modern and nineteenth-century British history. The Connected Histories website is fully searchable and provides access to millions of pages of text, hundreds of thousands of words and tens of thousands maps and images. It incorporates the following digital sources:

• British History Online
• British Newspapers 1600-1900
• Charles Booth Online Archive
• Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835
• London Lives, 1690–1800
• Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 1674–1913
• Origins Network
• Parliamentary Papers
• Printed Ephemera from the Bodleian Library
• Strype’s Survey of London

Access the resources here.

Funded by: Connected to: