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WGBH Turning Audio and Visual Media into Scholarly Resources for Tomorrow with Hydra and Fedora

Ithaca, NY Anyone who has clicked on an app knows that the way news and information is documented, shared and delivered has undergone a big change. If something unusual happens you are as likely go to YouTube to see if there are audio or video first-hand accounts as you are to read a newspaper. Reporting and sharing general information about what's going on in the world from highly produced films to on-the-fly videos has become a 24/7 event in which everyone with a phone can participate. Burgeoning collections of born digital media have the opportunity to become scholarly research materials that will tell the story of our day-to-day culture and heritage for future generations. However preservation of video and audio resources presents an overwhelming challenge to under resourced cultural institutions that lack the funds to properly store, migrate, preserve, and provide access.

WGBH was recently awarded an NEH Preservation and Access Research and Development grant  to develop an Open Source Digital Asset Management System for Media Preservation to help solve this problem. Media, as digital files, are exponentially more migratable, preservable, and accessible if curators and archivists have the appropriate tools to manage and preserve these digital materials.

This project will develop a digital preservation system for media files based on Hydra, utilizing a Fedora repository that can be easily implemented and hooked into storage systems for preservation. This stack is the best suited for handling large media files, with flexible data management, workflow modeling, and interface needs for public media organizations with few technical resources for implementation. The complex workflows needed to capture for long-term storage the born digital media material created today, which will become our history tomorrow will also be addressed.

With this solution WGBH aims to accommodate the needs of public media institutions with a system that is generic enough to be widely implemented to ensure that the born digital media material created today will become our history tomorrow.

If you are interested in learning more about the WGBH Open Source Digital Asset Management System for Media Preservation Project please contact Karen Cariani> Director WGBH Media Library and Archives at WGBH Educational Foundation. The project is seeking a developer interested in building an open library and preservation system for media: