Open Reel Digitization Project Proposal


Scope: digitization of all open reel-to-reel video tapes included in the “Street Scenes” Series created by Fort Wayne Public Library between 1974-1976. The entire FWPL collection consists of 169 reels with the Street Scenes series consisting of 16 tapes.

Overview: the project will begin with digitizing the 6 tapes that remain unprocessed. This will complete the collection for playback on the channel and inclusion on the Allen County Public Library’s Youtube page for use in this year’s Indiana Bi-Centennial Celebrations. Older( 2000s era) files will be reviewed to see if redigitization will create a better product in cases where there is significant drop out detected.

Process: Access Fort Wayne, a department of the Allen County Public Library will provide an open reel playback machine that will feed signal to an oscilloscope, time base corrector, DV digital tape machine and DVD recorder. The original metadata will be transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet, a screen capture will be made of each file. The original paper catalog (FWPL-TV Video Catalog) will be digitized and saved as a PDF. The original reels will be inspected and stored with copies of the digitized content and labeled with the old FWPL catalog number as well as the current AFW catalog number.

Outcome: the unique and local content will be preserved as well as access provided to history enthusiasts, specifically those interested in Fort Wayne architecture, vintage automobiles and fashions from the 1970s.

Time Commitment: Organizing existing files, tape reels and paper documentation will take 40 hours. Set up and configuration of equipment will take 40 hours. Transfer and in ingestion of signal will take 80 hours. Cataloging and upload will take 40 hours.




Internship in the AFW tape Library

3/4" videotapes on a shelf

What a day, I finally got an intern to help me with the item level survey of the Tape Archive. This means it is real. We spent the morning reading tape numbers and dates into a database. I see some changes that will have to be made to the database because up til now, it is meant to be the unquestioned record, the reality is, it is a mess down there and I need some way of tracking items that have no record, have improper information or just plain don’t exist anymore.

Right now all I have is a dumpy Access database that is old and wrong, but I can add some forms and queries so that I can find entries and alter them to reflect what really is in the vault.

March Outreach Activities

 Producer Coordinator, Bob Ihrie, telling it like it is to a room full of rapt film enthusiasts.
Bob Telling it Like it is

The media production landscape is changing. The public has turned into media creators, not just consumers. Public Access was started to facilitate this change in 1981. It was designed to provide access to media for the entire population. What wasn’t foreseen was the explosion in outlets for video content created by members of the public.

In order for Public Access to remain relevant, we need to re-establish ourselves as a hub that that can provide community, training opportunity,  and technical support to local content creators. Outreach will be key in providing community for local video producers.

March 12th was the date of the first ever Fort Wayne Filmmakers Summit. Held in the Spectator’s Lounge of the Cinema Center from 7 to 9PM. The attendees ranged from  first time screenwriters to seasoned veterans of the film industry. The audience filled the space and it was standing-room-only for a number of the 90 participants. First on the agenda was the filmmaker’s perspective: Each speaker presented a personal description of the projects they had participated in and a critique of the good and the bad of working on video production in Northeast Indiana. We were lucky enough to be invited to the event and I Co-presented with my coworker, Bob Ihrie.

Content Conundrum

So, I’m archiving a 15 episode series of DVCAM tapes about local entrepreneurship. This series was created in the early 2000s and has a bunch of interesting and successful people talking about their lives and what they did to succeed. Or, it’s the children or former business partners of said success stories.

Access Fort Wayne Digital Files Policy

Access Fort Wayne Network Attached Storage Device
Records Management Policies and Procedures
The purpose of this project is to create surrogate digital files for playback in the AFW system in order to protect the original tapes in the Access Fort Wayne Library.
Criteria for inclusion on the NAS device:
Unique programs that are of local, cultural, artistic or historical value will be considered for inclusion on the Network Attached Storage Device.
Any tape that is retrieved from the extended tape library in the sub-basement will be automatically encoded and stored on the NAS.
Any program that has been chosen for archival preservation will be included on the (NAS).
Appraisal of recent programs (within the last 2 years) for digitization and Network Attached Storage (NAS) will be made by primarily by the Program Director with advice from Access Fort Wayne Staff.
Naming convention of the files stored on the NAS:
All files collected on the NAS will be named using the unique identifier number created by the Access Fort Wayne database.
Programs that are episodes of series will be encoded and stored using the above criteria.

Talking with the Salesman about Content Management

Once you buy a big bucket, you have to organize all the pieces. Sadly, It looks like Drupal is not even on the page for this project. It’s either a homejob from the service that is installing OR StandPoint. It is all shrouded in mystery for me now. My only feeble happiness is that the death knoll for MicroSoft Access has sounded. There is no joy in MudVille because StandPoint looks really hard to learn.

Children’s Storytime App

Back from a meeting exploring the possibility of creating a series of on demand storytime elements for people with smartphones to hand to their screaming children perfect angel babies. I was glad to have input on the ground floor for this because I wanted to test drive my new “FIRST RULE OF VIDEO PRODUCTION IS….SCRIPT!!!!” document. I’m pleased to report that it was considered and we have a first step planned, mainly, someone is going to write a 2 minute script and collect the images needed and then (god willing) hand it to me and I will run my magic mojo on it and Viloa! Content for the library in smartphone form. I like the idea of shaking the phone to get a new story. I’ll be if I tried real hard, I could author that app…Or maybe just build it in Flash…I know, Flash is the devil, but what else do you build interactive applications in these days? I’m sooooooo behind the times.

What you need for a conference presentation

Because you have three audio sources, you need a mixing board, a Fast Track Pro, 2 mics, a slew of cords and adapters.

Here is a handy reference picture.

2 xlrs, a head mic, a stick mic, Fast track, usb cord, mini-to-phono adapter, Mackie soundboard, Phono-to-mini cord. We tested the audio using Some online conferencing product by Cisco, but in real life we will be using Adobe Connect. Whhot.

It’s on like Donkey Kong

At the staff meeting last night I brought up the fact that we are going to be presenting a workshop at the end of July on Community Media Archiving, specifically PEG Access collections. So we need to get our walk up to our talk. I was tasked with overseeing a workgroup that will hammer out the details of the care and feeding of the Access Fort Wayne Program Archive. The group includes me, the Program Director, the current archivist and some as yet unnamed I.T. person.

What we want to accomplish

1. Review the Collection Development Policy

2. Write a Digital acquisition Policy

3. Appraise the Collection

4. Weed the collection

It came to light that many of the files that have been “Born Digital” are in no way being archived. Standards for past formats will need to be written forward to include such formats.

Digital asset management needs to be addressed. The storage, deletion and description of digital assets should be a priority as many of the external storage devices being used are near capacity.

I will schedule the first meeting of this group for the end of next week.