Pop-Up Session Selection – VOTE NOW!

Posted on September 11, 2017

We’re trying something new this year at AMIA 2017.  Pop-Up Sessions will offer an opportunity to present a topic that has “popped up” after the proposal deadline; it also offers an opportunity for members to choose sessions of interest that might not already be part of the program.

The Program Committee invites your vote on which Pop-Up sessions you would most like to see presented at the conference. Please vote for up to three proposals. The three proposals with the most votes will be presented as sessions in New Orleans.   All AMIA members eligible to vote.  Please vote only once.

Deadline for casting your vote:  Tuesday, September 19th.

Entering the Image Archiving Industry
Chair:  Rich Borowy, Linear Cycle Productions

The desire of becoming an archivist is a profession for an acquired taste. It’s not necessarily an occupation that holds high among those just starting to get their life footings in gear, and at times is a career that might be confused with being a librarian of the classic mode: Someone who sorts books, maintains a deep knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System (a knowledge that outside of library work, serves no purpose in anything else), and has the tendency of saying “Shhhhh….!” too many times!

But if one wanted to become involved in the archives industry, what can one do? One might find to take on an volunteer job at a local archive, but performing that task is very difficult, if not impossible! No archive of a significant nature would take on anyone as a volunteer just because the applicant needs to get a “foot in the door” leading into something more promising. And if one doesn’t hold a degree, certificate, or even professional experience in working in an archive, then the chances of finding a job in an archive runs even slimmer!

The purpose for this discussion is to have leaders in the archive industry tell those budding archivists of tomorrow just how to become involved in preserving some kind of artifact(s) that is worth its preservation efforts. These leaders will offer tips and suggestions on how to become involved in archiving through progressive methods, and perhaps to become willing to serve as mentors to those that hold promise in preserving elements for future generations to marvel upon.

The discussions will focus upon the novice archivist, the person that may lack professional experience, but makes up this shortfall for the deep desire and willingness to place their all-in-all into this important career objective.

Knowing What You Have:
The Smithsonian Pan-Institutional Audiovisual Survey
Chair:  Alison Reppert Gerber, Smithsonian Institution Archives

From December 2015 to January 2017, eight Smithsonian units participated in a year-long comprehensive survey of audiovisual collections consisting of film, audio, and video held across the Institution. While several organizations have undertaken surveys of their audiovisual collections over the past decade and published frequently referenced methodologies and findings, this project was unique in that it required the collaboration of eight individual archival units with distinct collections and management practices. The primary goal of the survey was to document the breadth and scope of collections by gathering group-level data on formats, condition, and storage environments, while also reporting on areas of greatest strengths and needs gleaned from on-site interviews. This project provided the foundational data for the development of pan-institutional guidelines on the preservation and care of audiovisual materials.

This session will discuss the survey findings and recommendations, as well as the individual and collaborative initiatives that have been undertaken since the completion of the survey, with the aim of demonstrating the power of collections data in moving audiovisual preservation forward in a large institution. Alison Reppert Gerber, Preservation Coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, will discuss the overall project, including methodologies, findings, and future recommendations. Kira Sobers, Image and Video Digitization Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, will discuss how the Archives has used the survey data to revise workflows, increase intellectual control of their unit’s assets, and advocate for the installation of new digitization equipment. Lastly, Megan McShea, Audiovisual Archivist at the Archives of American Art, will present on pan-institutional initiatives that have been spearheaded since the completion of the survey and final report in March 2017.

This session is intended for all experience levels, from beginner to advanced.

Doxxing the “Bad Guys”:
Data Management & Accuracy in Social Media Engagement
Chair:  Ariel Schudson, Independent Scholar

This session will look at recent events like Gamergate, Charlottesville, and the abuse at Cinefamily. It will examine how social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and more play a significant part in managing or mis-managing data. The right-wing tactic of doxxing (searching out and publishing private information about an individual on the Internet) that has been adopted by liberal and progressive groups will be directly considered in terms of its potency and legal delineations as well as its possibility for inaccuracy and the human element in connection with a highly emotional situation. People don’t always do research before they click retweet.  The goal will be to see if we, as archival/data professionals can begin to proactively think about and develop methods to focus the more chaotic elements out there with our “mad skillz.”

Due to the nature of the topic, there may not be a resolution to the panel but discussing the rise of this crowd-sourced data is critical. I hope to have archival, legal, academic and possibly archival/activist scholarship on the panel, speaking to different aspects of how this data is dispersed and consumed and to whom. The intended audience for this panel would be individuals interested in social media platform data communications, crowdsourcing data, new technologies and forms of youth communications, and online activist discourse.

In a digital landscape, with data bursting forth 24/7 and social media being THE highway for breaking news and developments, it is crucial that we look at ways to reach out to the non-professional community so they can handle data more responsibly. We have a unique opportunity to develop and disperse proper guidelines and tools. This panel seeks to work within that context, discuss the hardcore issues happening in the world and come out with positive thoughts on it all.

NDSR Art: Taking On the Challenge of Preserving Time-based and Digital Media Art
Chair:  Cate Peebles, Yale Center for British Art

As museums and other cultural institutions incorporate greater numbers of time-based and digital media artworks into their collections they must develop strategies, policies, and tools that will ensure their survival. The National Digital Stewardship Residency for Art Information (NDSR Art) is an IMLS grant-funded initiative managed by ARLIS/ NA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to address the pressing challenges of digital preservation as they pertain to art museums and libraries and foster career development for new professionals. In this session, the NDSR Art inaugural cohort will explore the progress of three residents’ projects that focus on the digital preservation of fine arts-related collections, including time-based media/digital artworks, digital publications, and web archiving. The intended audience will be individuals working to figure out how to best manage and preserve complex media artworks at their own institutions, new professionals, and those interested in learning more about the NDSR Art program.

Cate Peebles, resident at the Yale Center for British Art, will lead our conversation. Residents Erin Barsan (Minneapolis Institute of Art) and Elise Tanner (Philadelphia Museum of Art) will discuss the current state of time-based media/digital art preservation at their host institutions, and how they are working to develop standards and best practices for how to best manage, preserve, and provide access to these complex, at-risk artworks. Resident Coral Salomón (University of Pennsylvania) will discuss the intricacies of developing a web archiving program aimed at capturing dynamic and complex digital art content. She will also touch upon initial ideas for archiving art publications released on apps and other “fugitive” platforms prone to rapid obsolescence, as well as observations from interviewing stakeholders in the different institutions and departments affiliated with Penn’s Fisher Fine Arts Library.

The Great Archival Beyond: AMIA Outreach Efforts with GLAM and Technical Organizations
Chair:  Siobhan Hagan, MARMIA

AMIA contains multitudes: all types of moving image archivists, students, collectors, conservators, academics, technicians, administrators and more. But, obviously, the archival multiverse is much bigger than AMIA. As a wide range of cultural heritage institutions are beginning to recognize the value of the archival film, video, and audio in their collections it is imperative that AMIA and its members reach out to other professional organizations in the libraries, archives and museum worlds. Doing so helps conserve important archival holdings kept by organizations not part of AMIA. And, equally importantly, it helps us to be more effective advocates for our collections.

This workshop will report on a range of recent cross-organizational efforts between AMIA members and organizations in related fields. Siobhan Hagan will detail her numerous outreach efforts including AMIA @ ALA; Andy Uhrich will discuss the work of SCMS’s Media Archives Committee; and Rachael Stoeltje will talk about the ongoing projects of the CCAAA. Other speakers and members of the audience will expand this discussion on outreach to other GLAM and technical organizations. In an open discussion we will discuss how to increase this outreach efforts though prompts like: How are organizational barriers productive and how do they restrict collaboration and growth? Do the approaches AMIA members take to valuing and preserving media translate to archival practitioners with other backgrounds and training? What approaches to outreach have been effective? What areas of the archival and libraries professions would benefit from the knowledge and skills of AMIA members? And, in reverse, how can AMIA bring in practitioners and scholars from other related fields?

Jitterbug into my brain: developing UNC’s database for AV Digitization
Chair:  Erica Titkemeyer, University of North Carolina

Within libraries, archives and museums, a number of applications exist for tracking collection inventories and their related metadata, from off-the-shelf commercial solutions, to excel spreadsheets. However, institutions collecting and digitizing audiovisual materials likely require more complex database structures, ones that can allow for field customization based on format types, and the ability to express technical metadata for files. Just as important, institutions likely seek an application that can easily export their data, whether for re-use by staff, or by external systems, including aggregated platforms for preservation and access.

The Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) staff at UNC were no strangers to the challenge of utilizing software that did not entirely line up with their needs. Between a handful of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and 3 Microsoft Access databases, the SFC produced over 300,000 records related to the collection’s audiovisual materials and reformatting projects from the 1980s to 2015. Over those 25-30 years, metadata structures and standards frequently changed and were often ill-defined. Additionally, with the growing needs associated with larger-scale digitization, staff developed numerous workarounds to enter in data quickly, while struggling to cross-reference tables and export data efficiently. During this time, human errors were inevitable, Microsoft Access crashes happened daily, and significant time and resources were spent locating information for any given item.

Looking to build a centralized, authoritative location for these records and all future records, the SFC developed a MySQL database and user interface, Jitterbug, in an effort to alleviate issues felt by curators, archivists, reference staff, and audio engineers across the library, and to improve on data search and re-use. Speaking to their experience in data cleanup, migration and development, the Product Owner and Developer of this open-source database management application will share their lessons learned, as well as the tools and resources utilized to build the application.

The Albanian Cinema Project at 5: A Status Report
Chair:  Regina Longo, The Albanian Cinema Project

The Albanian Cinema Project (ACP) began five years ago  as an initiative to bring much needed awareness, attention, and assistance to the plight of the Albanian National Film Archive. This capacity building project developed with a great groundswell of support from the AMIA membership. Many AMIA members also serve on the boards of ACP: Dennis Doros, Ray Edmonson, Reto Kromer, Regina Longo, Andrea McCarty, Stephen Parr, Paul Spehr, Dan Streible, Russ and Nancy Suniewick, Ken Weissman, and Caroline Yeager. Much has been accomplished since 2012—which also marked the first and only presentation on ACP at an AMIA conference—but there have also been many growing pains. This pop-up session will assess ACP at the 5-year mark, and examine its successes and failures, with a particular focus on the outcomes of the 2016  continuing education workshops organized by ACP via a major crowdfunding campaign and with some support from FIAF, the US Embassy, and the Albanian Ministry of Culture. This session will also  discuss next steps for the group, and the potential for AMIA to play a more active role in this level of  advocacy work. All ACP board members who are attending the 2017 conference will be present at the session and take part in the discussion. The intended audience for this session is the AMIA membership in general, and especially those interested in international advocacy work, capacity building projects, and how to work with both institutions and individuals at an international level to build coalitions that can mobilize public and private partners in order to improve accountability on all sides and to sustain support for preservation initiatives for archives at risk.

Archiving the Future Web
Chair:  Erwin Verbruggen, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Forms of expression through moving images are expanding. While a lot of web content consists of linear video formats, forms of interaction abound on the web – in online games, as well as documentary forms of interaction. This panel presents case studies and approaches that explore and expand the boundaries of archiving interactive web content.

Lorena Ramirez-Lopez (WHUT / NDSR): Web archiving: approaches and current boundaries for interactive web content

Jacob Zaborowski (NYU MIAP Program): Save Homestar Runner! – Preserving Flash on the Web

Flash was the software and web player de rigeur for developers and animators for nearly twenty years. However, security vulnerabilities and its lack of embrace of such open web standards as HTML5 have caused Flash to fall by the wayside. This case study of the website Homestar Runner will explore preservation issues surrounding Flash content on the web, and possible strategies for preservation planning.

Erwin Verbruggen (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) – Broadening the Web Archive: Preserving Interactive Documentaries

There is a corner of the web that tells us stories — non-fiction stories, specifically—which let us in on each other’s realities, ask us to slow down and contemplate. These works have many names: immersives, interactive documentaries (aka i-docs) or transmedia productions. To celebrate ten years of undefined non-fiction storytelling and art at its anniversary edition in 2016, IDFA DocLab presented a selection of 95 works in “canonical” form. Such lists of key works allow us to clarify the status of both recent and early proponents of the interactive documentary.

Tanya De Angelis (Sundance Institute): Festival time is archive time – festival as archival nodes for documenting interactive web productions.

Through a variety of tools, collaborations, and artist education we’re working to find solutions to help ensure access to interactive web art for years to come.

No Time for a Hiatus: Reinvigorating Local TV Preservation
Chair:  Siobhan Hagan, MARMIA

The original AMIA Local TV Task Force was formed in response to the 1997 Library of Congress report, “A Study of the Current State of American Television and Video Preservation” in order to address the numerous problems of preserving local television. The Local TV Task Force accomplished much initially. Partnering with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the task force published in the early 2000s, “Local Television: A Guide to Saving Our Heritage”. A FileMaker database was also created of over 300 local television collections across the United States, with contact, content, and format information.

Unfortunately, significant gaps still remain in the preservation of local television. Amazing work has been completed more recently in the area of preservation and access of public television through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaborative project between WGBH and the Library of Congress. But more and more, AMIA members are grappling with local network affiliated station content, public or cable access channel content, and complicated copyright issues surrounding this content. AMIA has recently reinstated its Local TV Task Force to help close these gaps.

In this presentation, Siobhan Hagan (Co-Chair of AMIA’s most recent iteration of the Local TV Task Force) will discuss the more recent iteration of the Local TV Task Force. In particular, this would be the Task Force’s official soft-launch of their work-in-progress online resource that will include: a history of local TV preservation, guidelines on specific topics, the aforementioned database of local TV Collections, additional readings, a glossary of local TV production terms, and more.

Aftermath and Impact of the NDSR AAPB project
Chair:  Rebecca Fraimow, WGBH Educational Foundation

This session will share the results and impact of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting National Digital Stewardship Alliance project.  The project aimed to train residents and develop curriculum for an increasingly critical area of digital preservation, the preservation of audiovisual materials.  It placed seven residents at diverse geographic public television and radio organizations across the country to pursue projects in digital preservation of audiovisual materials.

From a perspective of 5 months after the end of the residencies, this session will discuss which elements of the project have continued and have continued to have impact on the stations and the digital preservation community, and the audio visual preservation community.

The session will have speakers from host institutions and residents talking about the value of the program, the long-term impact of the digital preservation project, the value of the presence of a resident (audio-visual archivist) at the host institution, and the value of the experience professionally for the residents.  The project coordinator will discuss the challenges of managing the program, and how this project helped fulfill the needs for more audiovisual digital preservation professionals.

Long-term preservation with AS-07 from concept into practice
Chair:  Kira Sobers, Smithsonian Institution Archives

This Pop-Up session will provide updates on the AS-07 progress, an AV MXF Archive and Preservation Format. In brief, AS-07 specifies a vendor-neutral subset of the MXF file format for the long-term archiving and preservation of moving image and other audiovisual content, including all forms of Ancillary Data, together with Associated Materials. Among other features, AS-07 defines a means for the carriage and labeling of multiple timecodes and audio tracks; the handling of captions, subtitles, and Timed Text; a minimal core metadata set; program segmentation metadata; and embedded content integrity data.

A set of graded sample files representing a selection of key AS-07 components were released in September 2016. In response to public review of the specification documentation and sample files, adjustments are underway for the language of the specification and a revised set of sample files is in production. New versions of the specification and sample files will be released close to AMIA 2017 conference.

This session will provide an overview of the updates, changes and plans for future work, including collaboration with other video format standards efforts and moving the specification drafting work under SMPTE.

Essential to the implementation and adoption of AS-07 is the integration into existing toolsets. AS-07 enabled videotape reformatting tools can help to extract a more complete set of secondary information from the videotape into the preservation master file, improving sustainability and completeness of the preservation action.

The session will be chaired by Kira Sobers from Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) as representative of FADGI. Chris Lacinak from AVPreserve will take the role of a consultant helping archives to make the best use this feature rich format. Tom Lorenz from Cube-Tec will provide an update about the implementation of the format in real existing products.


Good enough to best: tiered born-digital av processing
Chair:  Julia Kim, Library of Congress

Born-Digital audiovisual files continue to present a conundrum to archivists in the field today: should they be accepted as-is, transcoded, or migrated? Is transcoding to a recommended preservation format always worth the potential extra storage space and staff time? If so, what are the ideal target specifications?

In this presentation, individuals working closely with complex born-digital audiovisual content from the University of North Carolina, WGBH, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Conference will present their own use cases involving collections processing practices, from “best practice” to the practical reality of “good enough”. These use cases will highlight situations wherein video quality, subject matter, file size and stakeholder expectations end up playing important roles in directing the steps taken for preservation. From these experiences, the panel will put forth suggestions for tiered preservation decision making, recognizing that not all files should necessarily be treated alike.

The ultimate goal of this presentation is to reveal the many possibilities available to digital and non-digital archivists alike who might be charged with handling born digital av, particularly those struggling to make key decisions impacted by limits in digital storage, tools and staff resources. The panel talks will also take into account progress that has already been enacted in the field of digital archiving, which directly relates to the handling of born digital av, including shared and flexible frameworks in born digital preservation policies and plans.

Collaborative Conversion: Open Tools and Workflows in A/V Preservation
Chair:  Andrew Weaver & Libby Hopfauf, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS)

The preservation of audiovisual collections can be a daunting (as well as expensive) proposition, especially for archives that are not already equipped to handle materials of this nature.  Fortunately, there is a growing archives-oriented community that is working to address this problem. This session will cover specific examples of collaborative tools, spaces and workflows with a focus on the open source community and ethos. It will give an overview of the various tools and open projects that are available to aid institutions getting started with A/V preservation presented as a specific case study from Seattle’s Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS) showcasing how they are simultaneously benefiting from and contributing to this collaborative approach to audiovisual archiving.

MIPoPS was formed to help archives, libraries, and other cultural and heritage organizations with analog video in their collections but with neither the resources nor expertise to address these at-risk materials.

Our pop-up session will describe the open source tools and techniques utilized by MIPoPS to support our participants, ensuring affordability, demystifying the digitization process and empowering them to succeed. By communicating with these institutions and freely sharing our experiences, tools and techniques, we support awareness, preservation and access of other regions’ moving image collections. This presentation seeks to further this effort to provide support and resources to institutions with similar needs. Following this, we will transition a community discussion to provide support and resources to institutions with similar needs.

Intended Audience: A/V Archivists currently using (or interested in integrating) open-source tools into their digitization and preservation process.


The Projection Workshop: Training the Future of Film Exhibition
Chair:  Jason Metcalfe, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

In October we plan on holding our third official Projection Workshop event and our first Intermediate Workshop, this time in Boston, MA in close cooperation with Boston Light & Sound.

This event will focus much more closely on 35mm projection maintenance and technical skills and is a conscious shift from the Workshop last year in which we attempted to encompass aspects of film handling and repair and the basics of film projection and presentation as well.

As a followup to the Workshop event we hope to hold a popup session at the AMIA conference in November in order to solicit direct feedback from the community about this specific workshop and the Projection Workshop as a whole. Though we already get some feedback from the Projection and Presentation Technical Committee we hope to expand our engagement with other communities that attend the conference, as the primary goal of the Workshop is still bridge building between exhibitors and archives in order to facilitate the continued screening of film materials to the public.

We hope to present the direction that the Projection Workshop is heading, which is to provide more, directed events at different skill levels multiple times throughout the year in different regions, as well as hear about ideas for topics that we aren’t currently addressing, regions of the country that could benefit from these events, and hear from potential industry partners that could help lend resources towards our goals.

The Projection Workshop is a collaboration between AMIA, Alamo Drafthouse, and Boston Light and Sound, with industry partners The Film Foundation and Kodak. The core leadership of the Projection Workshop is Laura Rooney, Jason Metcalfe, Brittan Dunham, Becca Hall, Genevieve Havemeyer-King, and Sebastian del Castillo.

Has tape finally met its match? How Object Storage Delivers a Faster, More Scalable Active Archive
Chair:  Jennifer Lynn

Active archives are a critical part of the digital media workflow. Once a resting place for video assets that might be needed “someday”, the archive is now a profit center as media content is sought out and used for on-going monetization through reuse and redistribution. This talk will discuss facets and challenges of this changing landscape and how new solutions can enable media archivists the ability to scale, but also quickly search and find what they need to meet these new demands.

First, we will look at why the changing world of digital media demands new active archive technologies to contend with exponential file growth, increasing size in media formats (such as 4K, 8K, and VR/360), and the need for instantaneous archive access over long periods of time.

Second, a look at today’s object storage solutions, how they differ from previous and incumbent solutions, and why it uniquely solves the industry’s growing challenges.

Finally, we will take you through a use case where a major broadcaster executed a transition from tape to object storage for an archive spanning forty years, discussing their first-hand challenges and key objectives, the solution they found, and three specific benefits they achieved.

What’s up with AMIA’s Open Source Projects
Chair:  Dave Rice, CUNY

The AMIA Open Source committee has maintained an organizational account at GitHub.com for collaboration on resources that support the preservation and use of moving image media. This collection contains the open-workflows repository which highlights public workflow documentation from dozens of audiovisual archives, vendors, and labs. The collection also contains projects such as ffmprovisr (an FFmpeg recipe book for archivists), vrecord and audiorecorder (audiovisual digitization tools), cable-bible (a guide to cables and connectors), and many other collaboratively-built tools and documentation sets that seek to address the needs of the AMIA community. GitHub provides an environment to host code and documentation under version control in a manner that is supported by a social network that allows participants and onlookers to see and comment upon work as it occurs. This pop-up session will provide an overview to how GitHub can support collaborative work, examine the current state of work in this collection, discuss current priorities and open issues, tour works-in-progress, and offer details on how to participate.


Deadline is  Tuesday, September 19th.