The Columbia University Libraries
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Scholarly Communications Program
Grant Project Title: Preserving Historic Audio Content
Developing Infrastructures and Practices for Digital Conversion
Name of Institution: Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Contact Information: Principal Investigator:
Janet E. Gertz
Director, Preservation and Digital Conversion Division
Columbia University, Butler Library 101C
535 West 114th Street, Mail Code 1108
New York, NY 10027
Office of Research Administration:
Columbia University, 254 Engineering Terrace
1210 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 2205
New York, NY 10027
Date of Submission: March 13, 2008
Project Dates: July 1, 2008–June 30, 2010
Preserving Historic Audio Content:
Developing Infrastructures and Practices for Digital Conversion
Preserving audio recordings is of increasing importance as the high risk of loss of valuable content becomes widely understood. Many institutions with historic audio content are eager to begin digital conversion, but are impeded by a number of obstacles to successful preservation of audio content, particularly in the areas of metadata and management of the digital files.
The Columbia University Libraries wishes to preserve 820 audiotapes from the Oral History Research Office comprising approximately 1,200 hours, but we must build a fully functional infrastructure for audio preservation in order to do so. The tapes have been identified as both of the highest potential research value and at the highest risk for deterioration and loss.
Among the recordings are oral histories of politically and socially active figures such as Nikita Khrushchev, Walter Lippmann, George Meaney, Clarence Mitchell, Nelson Rockefeller, Gloria Steinem, Robert F. Wagner; historians and literary figures such as James Baldwin, Jacques Barzun, Isaiah Berlin, William Buckley, Robert Heilbronner, Irving Howe, Anita Loos, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Isaac Bashevis Singer, C. Vann Woodward; and members of the arts and entertainment community such as Judith Anderson, Gene Autry, Frank Capra, Joseph Cotton, Joel McCrea, Otto Preminger, Richard Rogers, Virgil Thomson, Mies van der Rohe, King Vidor.
We propose a two-year project, with work beginning in July 2008:
We will select a group of high-priority audio materials totaling 1,200 hours as a target
for the project and will move them through the steps of digital conversion and metadata creation;
We will attempt to build an infrastructure model for institutions that do not have an
in-house audio conversion lab;
We will collaborate with expert consultants and a leading service provider for audio preservation conversion to develop practices that are mutually functional for both content-owning institutions and service providers;
We will disseminate the activities of the project through written reports and presentations to appropriate professional organizations; and
We will build and continually maintain a public project web site with full information about the project, including the final proposal and documentation created during the project.
This project will result in the following outcomes:
Preservation through digital conversion of 1,200 hours of seriously endangered analog audio recordings that have been identified as important for future research;
Creation of cataloging records and other metadata to facilitate discovery of the preserved content by scholars, and to support preservation of the digital versions;
Establishment at Columbia of a carefully designed and fully functional audio preservation infrastructure that is in compliance with current best practices and incorporates smooth working relations with an external service provider; and
Creation and ongoing maintenance of a public project web site.
Rationale for the Project
Obstacles to Audio Preservation
Preserving audio recordings is of increasing importance as the high risk of losing valuable content becomes widely understood. Many institutions that hold historic audio content are eager to take action, but they are impeded by a number of obstacles to successful preservation of their audio content.
Identification of at-risk recordings
Many institutions do not have detailed inventories of their audio recordings and are even less well informed as to priorities for preservation. As one response to this situation, Columbia has undertaken the current Project to Survey the Audio and Moving Image Collections, with the Mellon Foundation’s generous assistance. We have developed a survey tool optimized for these materials that evaluates degrees of risk of physical deterioration and obsolescence. Starting from this physical basis, we have examined all of our unique analog audio items and determined the relative importance of the content for future research. Preliminary versions of the survey tool have been presented at conferences of the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) to a high degree of interest, and we will make the survey tool and instruction manual freely available to all interested institutions this spring when the project is completed.
Standards and best practices for digital audio conversion and metadata
There is now general agreement that 96 kHz, 24 bit word Broadcast Wave files are the appropriate vehicle for high-quality audio conversion.1 However, best practices and standards for technical capture and structural metadata are still evolving. The Audio Engineering Society (AES) and other organizations are bringing out documents that provide a framework within which best practices can be developed, but a good deal of work remains to be done.2
Preservation of the digitized audio content
No matter how high the quality of conversion, preservation of the audio content results only when systems for long-term management of the digital files are in place, including digital asset management systems, preservation-specific metadata, and trusted digital archives. While this situation is general to all digital preservation, there is a need to assure that audio files and their metadata are compatible with METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard, http://www.loc.gov/standards/mets/), PREMIS (Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies, http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/), and other elements of the digital archive infrastructure, and to develop procedures for handling audio files within the system.
Assuring access to audio content
Researchers often have difficulty discovering audio content, especially when the content is unique and cataloging or other descriptive metadata is lacking. As with all archival materials, there is a tension between individual and collection-level cataloging, further complicated when a single physical audio object holds several intellectual entities, or a single intellectual entity is be spread over several physical objects. Sometimes both situations exist simultaneously. Finally, identification of content is dependent on playback when information on containers and labels is unreliable or incomplete, but many institutions lack playback equipment, and some physical objects are too fragile or deteriorated to risk playing before preservation takes place.
While United States copyright law permits re-recording of works currently under copyright for preservation purposes, the complications of intellectual property rights and permissions place obstacles in the way of researchers. In many cases institutions either do not know who owns the rights to unique content or cannot locate the rights owner many years after the audio recording was created. Much audio content is not in the public domain and can only be provided to listeners on-site at the owing institution rather than over the Internet for easy access.
Columbia Audio Preservation Efforts
All of these issues have implications for preservation of Columbia’s recorded collections. Columbia’s Preservation and Digital Conversion Division has been actively preserving analog audio materials for over a decade, yet over 32,000 unique audio recordings have not yet been addressed.
In the 1990s and early 2000s we undertook major projects that produced analog preservation masters: the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ) consisting of 5,755 hours of audiotape field interviews with European Yiddish-speaking informants collected between 1959 and 1972, preserved through funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials, and several private foundations; and the NEH-funded Oral Histories of Twentieth-Century Politics project consisting of 1,013 hours of interviews from the era of Dwight Eisenhower, Robert Taft, and Adlai Stevenson conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of smaller projects were also accomplished during this period.
With the growing stabilization of audio digitization and the demise of high-quality analog audiotape, Columbia converted in 2005 to producing digital preservation masters. Projects include the Ditson Fund Recordings Archive of 196 performances from the 1940s and 1950s of new American music by composers like Aaron Copeland and Virgil Thomson, funded by The GRAMMY Foundation®; the recently completed Union Theological Seminary project funded by the Lilly Endowment to preserve approximately 1,110 recordings from the Seminary’s archives dating from 1944 to 1975 and including speeches, lectures, and events involving figures such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr.; and several smaller projects funded internally by Columbia.
Our experience with digital conversion has entailed development of initial procedures for preparation of materials, vendor relations, and quality control. However, we have identified significant gaps in our infrastructure that we share with other institutions, particularly in the areas of metadata capture and creation and in the interface between digital conversion and long-term preservation of the resulting digital files. We have not been able to identify good models for building an effective infrastructure for digital audio preservation.
Infrastructure for Audio Digital Conversion and Preservation
The recent report of the NEH-funded project Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation3 from Indiana University and Harvard does present a model for procedures and practices to address some of the issues discussed above, particularly collecting the appropriate metadata from the initial step of identifying an audio object for digital conversion through preparation for ingest into a long-term archive, and procedures for audio conversion labs. The report will be useful to other institutions that have in-house labs and are seeking to develop a truly integrated approach to all the preservation functions.
Yet like Columbia, many institutions with audio holdings rely on external service providers for digital conversion and need guidance on procedures and best practices that differ in some respects from the fully in-house model that Sound Directions presents. Institutions like Columbia must be able to:
Deliver initial metadata to the service provider that clearly identifies each audio object, with as much useful data as is available on type, brand, duration, and physical problems; and this must be done in a format that the service provider can handle. As noted above, especially with unique items, it can be very difficult for institutions to determine content/duration and other information. Pre-existing information may be held in a variety of formats that are not immediately compatible, e.g., MARC records, lists in word-processed files or spreadsheets, online finding aids, or paper records. Service providers differ as to what formats they can handle, and there are currently no best practices to guide institutions as they work with service providers.
Receive back from the service provider both the digital content and the capture/ structural/technical metadata collected during the conversion process. AES and other emerging standards require collection of a great deal of information about the original object and the conversion process, as well as about the digital files themselves. Some of this can be collected automatically, but much requires manual input. Digital conversion of audio is already quite expensive without paying providers to input large quantities of metadata; however, often they are the only ones with technical knowledge of the information, especially that which can only be discovered through playback. There are currently no best practices in place to guide institutions in determining what metadata to request from service providers. There are also no best practices on what formats to use for recording and delivering metadata, and service providers are faced with a wide range of demands from customers as to format, quantity, and style of metadata.
Carry out quality control review on the digital files and on the metadata. Many institutions lack the software and high-quality listening facilities to perform full quality control review of audio quality. Quality control review of metadata can be equally time-consuming and complex.
The Columbia University Libraries (CUL) proposes a two-year project, with work beginning in July 2008, to address a subset of the issues raised above:
We will select a group of high-priority audio materials totaling 1,200 hours as a target for the project and will move them through the steps of digital conversion and metadata creation;
We will attempt to build an infrastructure model for institutions that do not have an in-house audio conversion lab;
We will collaborate with the authors of Sound Directions and with a leading service provider for audio preservation conversion to develop practices that are mutually functional for both content-owning institutions and service providers;
We will disseminate the results of the project through written reports and presentations to appropriate professional organizations; and
We will build and continually maintain a public project web site with full information about the project, including the final proposal and documentation created during the project.
The Columbia University Libraries
The Columbia University Libraries (CUL) is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. The Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors.
The services of the Libraries extend well beyond the university. Access to digital resources is provided through the Libraries’ web site (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb). On-site access to the physical collections is available to anyone affiliated with members of the SHARES program under the auspices of OCLC and of the New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Agency. The Libraries also fill thousands of interlibrary loans through cooperative arrangements with OCLC, RAPID, the Regional Medical Library Center of New York, and others.
Selection of Materials
We will preserve 820 audiotapes from the Columbia Oral History Research Office (OHRO), comprising approximately 1,200 hours. These items have been identified through our survey as simultaneously of the highest potential research value and at the highest risk for deterioration and loss. The survey looked at a total of 4,974 reel-to-reel tapes and 9,766 cassettes from OHRO. The set rated at the highest intellectual and local value and the worst physical condition (acute problems such as mold or broken/torn tape) totals 94 items amounting to approximately 130 recorded hours. The set rated at highest intellectual and local value and second worst physical condition (serious problems such as shedding or vinegar odor) totals 726 items amounting to approximately 1,060 recorded hours. In other words, the 6% of the OHRO collection that is both of highest research value and in the worst physical condition is targeted by this project. Scholars are currently limited to the transcripts of these valuable resources because the analog recordings are so fragile that playback cannot be permitted.
Among the recordings identified for this project are oral histories with politically and socially active figures such as Nikita Khrushchev, Walter Lippmann, George Meaney, Clarence Mitchell, Nelson Rockefeller, Gloria Steinem, Robert F. Wagner; historians and literary figures such as James Baldwin, Jacques Barzun, Isaiah Berlin, William Buckley, Robert Heilbronner, Irving Howe, Anita Loos, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Isaac Bashevis Singer, C. Vann Woodward; and members of the arts and entertainment community such as Judith Anderson, Gene Autry, Frank Capra, Joseph Cotton, Joel McCrea, Otto Preminger, Richard Rogers, Virgil Thomson, Mies van der Rohe, King Vidor. Further description of the Oral History Research Office and its collections can be found in the appendix.
Importance of oral history for scholars
Scholars are increasingly turning to the sound of oral history for documentation of critically important political and social events in which it is important to rely on first-person sources both for information and for interpretation. Oral history sources have grown central to work across disciplines in both the humanities and the social sciences.
While written transcripts sufficed in a world in which oral histories were perceived primarily as “documents,”—e.g., sources for citations and quotations in biographies or traditional histories—the increasing use of oral history as a central research methodology for understanding the intersection of history, politics, and culture requires access to the spoken word. Sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, psychologists, and contemporary historians demand access to the voices of those who are interviewed, in order to judge for themselves the motivations and interpretations of innovators, political leaders, and those who bear witness to the critical events of recent times.
As recent OHRO initiatives demonstrate, it is critical that the sound as well as the transcript be fully accessible. This means that the recordings themselves must be carefully preserved—a serious challenge given the short life-span of most recording media. Yet, the defining feature of oral history is its attention to the distinctive qualities of voice, both literal and metaphorical, in their individual and collective forms. Oral historians often argue that the only way we can be told about the broader meaning of the past is through the individual story. One might equally argue that a story cannot be understood until it is “heard” in all its complexity and individuality.
Building an Audio Preservation Infrastructure
We will attempt to build an infrastructure model for institutions that do not have an in-house audio conversion lab, incorporating the applicable recommendations from the Sound Directions project and inviting Mike Casey and Bruce Gordon to serve as consultants to this project, and we will consider relevant work by other institutions and organizations. In this process we will address some of the issues discussed above.
Technical and structural metadata
The project will develop procedures for collecting physical description and structural metadata in-house in a format that will integrate well throughout the digital conversion and preservation process. All available information on the physical description about the tapes and cassettes (size/brand/type/duration/physical problems) has already been collected as part of the survey. We will export this data from the MS Access survey database to the format we determine is best for the digital conversion process. If necessary, we will develop procedures for converting metadata to/from our preferred format to any other format the service provider requires.
As is often the case with audio recordings, there is not a one-to-one correspondence between the physical carrier (the tape or cassette) and the intellectual content (the oral history). The basic unit of an oral history is the session—a single interview period that typically runs from 1.5 to 2 hours. Each session is a single intellectual object that can occupy one or more tapes, and each oral history consists of one or more sessions typically occurring over a period of days or months. Interviewers often started the next session on the same tape immediately after the point where the previous session ended. Occasionally empty space was used for an unrelated oral history. In other words, many tapes have a track (“face” in the AES terminology) containing the end of one session and the beginning of another. The project will create structural metadata to clearly identify all parts of each session and all sessions of each oral history, and it will organize the metadata to concatenate all data for a single session spread over more than one track of one tape.
Quality control and disposition of the original recordings
CUL’s current quality control procedures involve listening to a random sample of converted files in full; listening to a few minutes at the beginning, middle, and end of the rest of the files; and verifying the metadata. We will review our quality control work station and procedures and upgrade as needed in the light of the recommendations in Sound Directions, AES, and other best practices.
After digitization, the original audio recordings will be returned to permanent storage at the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP), where they are currently housed. ReCAP, located in Princeton, New Jersey, meets national guidelines for archival storage of magnetic media.
Providing access to the content
As the interviews are preserved, it is necessary to produce cataloging, finding aids, and other descriptive metadata to assist students, scholars, and the public at large to find and understand the content of the interviews. Since OHRO routinely produces summaries of all of its interviews and projects, the task of documenting individual interviews has already been accomplished. Individual MARC records for approximately 85% of the oral histories have already been added to OCLC WorldCat and to CUL’s online catalog CLIO, while most of the others are represented by manual summary sheets that contain all of the information needed for MARC records.
A small number of interviews lack descriptive information. Project staff will first create MARC records for those original tapes that have none and will then derive MARC records for the digital versions. All of the records will be loaded into CLIO and WorldCat. For an example, please see the MARC record for the electronic version of an oral history with Edward Koch in the appendix.
OHRO maintains lists of its project and individual interviews on its home page (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/oral/index.html). The project will add any of the preserved interviews that are not there already.
Rights and permissions
Intellectual property rights to the audio content of oral histories is held by the interviewees or their heirs. When most of the oral histories to be included in this project were recorded decades ago, the then-current permissions agreements did not cover Internet access. Unless this situation is addressed, researchers will only be able to listen to the preserved audio recordings on-site at Columbia. In the interests of facilitating scholarly use of the recordings, we intend to review the permissions documents and to secure new legal agreements where necessary to enable online access. In many cases this will require work with heirs and assigns. OHRO has kept careful records of correspondence with all its narrators, which will enable this work to take place.
At the beginning of the project Kenny Crews, director of the new CUL Copyright Advisory Office, will review the standard OHRO permissions form. Staff will then attempt to locate all the rights holders and update our permissions for use of the analog and digital audio content. Rights and permissions metadata will be created for each preserved oral history. We estimate that one-quarter of a staff person’s time over 18 months will be needed for this work. CUL will pay these staff costs (and not use grant funds), since we believe it will be most efficient to deal with the permissions issues and resultant metadata during the preservation project. The staff member’s first priority will be to accomplish the preservation work (preparation, quality control, and so forth) which is estimated to require 75% of a full-time schedule. The staff member will concentrate on the permissions work during periods of time when there is a pause in those tasks while the materials are at the vendor being digitized. If the permissions work cannot be completed within the project period, CUL will continue to support it afterwards.
Management and Long-term Preservation of the Digital Content
Once conversion is complete, the digitized files will be ingested into the CUL/Information Services (IS) local asset management system. From there the files will be inventoried, given quality control review, enriched with additional metadata, exported and packaged in METS / PREMIS, and ingested into our long-term digital archive.
A key assumption of our proposed approach, and one that we hope to validate as part of this project, is that an effective local asset management system is a critical component for the success of medium- to large-scale multimedia digitization projects. The asset management application should enable and facilitate tasks such as: the semi-automated receipt and ingest of vendor-supplied digital files and metadata; the physical staging of large multimedia files; the performance of both inventory-level and object-level quality control; the ingest and storage of related external metadata documents and their correlation with the digital objects they describe; and the export of these digital objects and related metadata in a standard XML wrapper such as METS for ingest into a long-term digital archive or for export for some other purpose.
Currently CUL’s plans for asset management entail the use of the open source “Alfresco” product (http://www.alfresco.com/), dSpace (http://www.dspace.org/), and/or Vfinity (http://www.vfinity.com/main.php). dSpace is currently in production at Columbia for our institutional repository, and Alfresco has been installed for testing. The Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (a division within CUL) will shortly be installing a test instance of Vfinity to evaluate its multimedia ingest and editing capabilities. It is likely that our longer-term asset management strategy will be to migrate to a custom application built within Fedora or a Fedora-like architecture.
Long-term digital archiving
CUL will initially use the DAITSS (http://daitss.fcla.edu/) dark archiving software for our long-term digital archive. Local implementation of DAITSS is now in the planning stages and is scheduled for fall 2008. Here again we may in due course migrate from DAITSS into a Fedora-based LTA, although this is still under discussion and for the future.
Part of our effort during this grant project will be to develop procedures, workflows, and tools for the simple and efficient ingest, management, export, and long-term archiving of digital audio content. Tasks we will need to accomplish, in conjunction where appropriate with our service provider, include:
Identifying/developing a standard approach for receipt of vendor-generated multimedia files and vendor-generated metadata (as well as institutional metadata round-tripped and modified by the vendor);
Determining how much and what metadata to incorporate into media file headers;
Determining what subset of the PREMIS data elements should be created and stored in the metadata package;
Determining the level and type of rights and permissions metadata to capture and in which format to express it, e.g., PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata, http://www.prismstandard.org/) or Creative Commons;
Determining the core set of descriptive, structural, and administrative metadata elements needed for multimedia asset management;
Determining how more complex, externally created metadata can be stored, updated, and passed through the asset management system into other applications—and also perhaps used for raw keyword searching within the system itself;
Conducting a task analysis of the manual activities required for the ingest and management of digital objects and designing and evolving a job description and set of procedures for a support-staff level data technician to perform this type of work.
We will collaborate with George Blood/Safe Sound Archive (SSA), a leading service provider for preservation conversion of analog audio materials, to produce high-quality digital copies of the recordings and to develop practices that are mutually functional for both content-owning institutions and service providers. CUL has a history of working with preservation providers for mutual education and development of best practices, notably as a co-founder of the not-for-profit preservation microfilmer MAPS (later Preservation Resources, OCLC Preservation Service Center), and in our more recent work with a variety of text and imaging service providers.
SSA has been our audio conversion provider for several previous preservation projects, and we have developed a strong working relationship, including detailed discussions of appropriate metadata. George Blood is a recognized expert in audio preservation, serving for instance as an advisor on the Sound Directions project. As such, his company is a good partner for us in our effort to develop an infrastructure and practices that meet the institution’s needs of audio preservation in a way that makes reasonable demands on service providers.
While of necessity we will work with a single company during this project, the goal is to develop a model that is appropriate for any preservation service provider and not customized solely for SSA. SSA will devote staff amounting to one FTE for one year to the planning and analysis effort. Among those participating will be George Blood, president of SSA, Preston Cabe, database manager, Jason Bachman, manager of quality assurance and information technology, and others.
In the first phase of the project, CUL will determine the structural, technical, and administrative metadata that we need for preservation management and long-term archiving, while SSA will identify the metadata they routinely collect, any additional metadata based on AES and other standards that they would recommend collecting, and the mechanisms they use to provide metadata to clients. Together we will analyze the information and agree on how best to address any gaps between what is needed and what is currently provided. We will collaborate to select one or more mutually functional exchange mechanisms that will integrate well throughout the process. Mike Casey and Bruce Gordon will assist in this analysis process.
SSA will convert the audio recordings according to current standards and best practices. Each original sound unit (“face”) of a reel-to-reel tape or cassette that makes up part of a single session will be reproduced as a pair of master and delivery digital audio files. When one face of a sound recording contains the end of one session and the beginning of a second (whether with the same interviewee on a different date or with a new interviewee), the two sessions will be reproduced in separate files.
Before digitization all original audio recordings will be reviewed and cleaned according to accepted standards as needed, without jeopardizing the materials. Dry or defective splices on the original tapes will be cleaned and replaced. Severely damaged tapes will be assessed for baking or other treatment to enable optimal transfer fidelity, and they will be worked on and converted one-by-one to assure maximum care. Less-damaged recordings will be converted through semi-monitored transfer, under which two or three homogeneous recordings are converted in the same session. Any recording whose condition renders it suspect will be fully monitored.
Preservation master files will be produced as an uncompressed pulse code modulated bit stream in Broadcast Wave format, at sampling frequency 96 kHz and 24 bit word length. Delivery masters (also referred to as service or use files) will be derived from the master files, also in Broadcast Wave format but at sampling frequency 44 kHz and 16 bit word length. Mono- or stereophonic configuration of the source item will be retained. No digital enhancement will be performed on the master files, as the goal is an accurate copy of the original. Filtering or noise suppression will be used only if obvious technical problems exist that seriously affect the intelligibility of the original recording.
Based on decisions reached during the planning phase of the project, SSA will enter appropriate metadata into the file headers and into spreadsheets or other formats for transmission to CUL.
Staff résumés and job descriptions are provided in the appendices, as is the Safe Sound Archive price proposal.
Contributed Columbia Staff
Janet Gertz, Director of the Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, will serve as the principal investigator overseeing the project. She will participate in the workflow and metadata analysis, coordinate all project activities, assure that benchmarks and schedules are met, and handle all budgetary matters. Dr. Gertz is currently managing the Project to Survey the Audio and Moving Image Collections of Columbia University, also funded by the Mellon Foundation, and she has managed all of CUL’s previous audio preservation projects.
Stephen Paul Davis, Director of the Libraries Digital Program Division, will manage technical infrastructure planning and implementation for the project, coordinating with other technology divisions of the Libraries/Information Services and the University, and participating in the workflow and metadata analysis.
OHRO Director Mary Marshall Clark has already provided research value ratings for the collections as part of the audio survey project. She will continue to be available for any content-related questions and will deal with any policy-related issues that may emerge during the permissions work.
Music and Special Formats Cataloger Russell Merritt will manage creation of missing MARC records for the original interviews and creation of MARC records for all digital versions.
Corie Trancho-Robie, Assistant Director of OHRO, will serve as project coordinator for 5% of her time, managing directly the work of the project support staff.
Terry Catapano, Systems Analyst in the Digital Program Division, will spend 10% of his time over the course of the project on the design and planning of the project metadata, including conducting metadata analysis, planning, and testing, and he will also manage the development of scripts and tools needed for the semi-automated import and export of digital content, drawing as needed on other programming resources of the Libraries. Procedures for support staff ingest and metadata quality assurance tasks will also be developed.
A technical assistant support position (assistant level 5) will be hired to carry out pre-processing of the recordings, input initial metadata, perform audio quality control, and perform other project-related duties over a period of eighteen months at a 75% rate. CUL will pay the remaining 25% of salary and benefits for work relating to permissions.
A data archive technician support position (assistant level 6) will be employed for the equivalent of six months to perform ingest of the files, assign specified metadata elements, and carry out quality control on the digital documents and other project-related duties.
George Blood/Safe Sound Archive of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will carry out digital conversion of the audio content, will create technical/structural/capture metadata, and will act as a partner in developing mutually acceptable procedures for the project.
The co-authors of Sound Directions, Mike Casey, Coordinator of Recording Services of the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, and Bruce Gordon, Audio Engineer of the Loeb Music Library at Harvard, will serve as consultants to the project. In addition to reviewing Columbia’s proposed procedures in the light of their own investigation, they will attend a meeting at Columbia to share current information on technologies and methodologies in audio preservation.