Texas Digital Library Conference System, TCDL 2012

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The Problem of Obsolescence in Audiovisual Digitization Projects
Wendy Martin, Anna Lamphear

Last modified: 2012-04-16


The collections of the University of Texas Libraries are rich and diverse in audio and audiovisual holdings and ensuring that these materials are accessible to our patrons now and in the future is a priority for the Libraries. However, in their current formats, analog AV materials present unique preservation challenges, as the carriers degrade quickly and playback equipment is becoming increasingly difficult to procure and maintain.

This poster documents the vast array of analog audio and audiovisual assets held by the Libraries and contrasts these holdings against our current Audio and Video Digitization Workstation playback capabilities. The poster will help to articulate the urgent need for a holistic assessment of hardware needs in the overall Digitization workflow before obsolescence of equipment, formats, and expertise leads to a tragic loss of invaluable research content. Finally, strategies are offered for how to best meet the challenges presented as a result of obsolescence.


audiovisual digitization; audiovisual reformatting; equipment obsolescence