Preserving the Past

Description of the video:

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>> At Indiana University, we are keepers of history.
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[ Explosion ]
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[ Music ]
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>> We are keepers of music.
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>> We are keepers of human experience.
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>>We are keepers of memory
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>> With the vast collection of historical media in our care,
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we must do more than simply keep it.
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We need to protect it.
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Make it accessible.
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And share it.
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But we must act quickly.
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Some of our precious pieces are already well over one hundred years old.
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Unplayable for decades, because of age or obsolescence.
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They are crumbling to dust.
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>> This is a crisis that people have talked about for years.
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For decades.
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And the solution has been so out of anyone's reach because of expense and time
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that people have just watched it go on.
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Because of the unique position of Indiana University,
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we are able to actually take a very big step toward preserving these materials
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that experts estimate in 15 years will simply be gone.
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>> Its very worrying to be in charge of a collection
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that you know is increasingly in danger.
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Increasingly becoming unusable because tapes have a shelf life.
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To know that the university has made this commitment,
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is a great relief and a great joy for me.
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>> Here at IU we have some 560,000 audio, video and film objects that's just in Bloomington
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that doesn't include the other regional campuses.
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Our strategy is basically two fold ; First we have Memnon archiving services.
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Our private partner who is part of the Sony corporation.
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Who are charged with digitizing the bulk of our recordings.
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And at peak, Memnon will digitally preserve some 600 recordings per day.
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And it is necessary for IU to have a smaller facility to handle the fragile items.
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Between the two of us we expect to digitally preserve approximately 280,000 recordings
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over the next four years.
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>> So our goal is, anything that we can legally clear
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for open access will be streamed over the web.
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>> We have a searchable online index right now, of our collection.
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But people contact me every day and they're like is it available online?
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And I have to say no.
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But it will be.
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Now I can say it will be.
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>> At Indiana University we are committed to ensuring
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that our heritage and our history live on.
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>> And like I said to the board at this time, Dr. Kinsey was a recognized scientist.
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>> And that the voices of the past can continue to guide the present and future.
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>> He must be protected by the University and his right to carry on his research must be unimpaired.

As a Bicentennial initiative in 2015, Indiana University undertook the gargantuan task of digitizing its large holdings of deteriorating audio and video recordings. The Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI) was launched with a goal of digitizing 300,000 items identified as being in greatest peril. In 2017, this eff ort was expanded to include 25,000 film reels.

MDPI partnered with Memnon Archiving Services, a Sony company, to help. Memnon performs the lion’s share of the digitization using parallel transfer workfl ows, where one operator simultaneously digitizes multiple recordings. IU has a smaller digitization facility to handle fragile formats and tricky items one at a time—including nearly 6,500 wax cylinders.The National Endowment for the Humanities provided grant funding to digitize the wax cylinders.

The project has worked closely with the IU Libraries, the Offi ce of the General Counsel, and Maurer School Law externs to evaluate copyright in order to make as much content as possible discoverable and available through IU’s search and access tools.

Visitors from around the world now come to IU for conferences, training, and tours on the work of digital preservation.

mdpi.iu.edu

Digital preservation by the numbers

11.5petabytes of digital file storage used by MDPI to preserve IU’s media

2,697,096ultra-high resolution images of fossils captured by IU’s Center for Biological Research Collections

160,000+plants digitized at IU Herbarium