Video Services

The Video Preservation Lab offers an array of services in support of the archival process for the Office of Records Services in Washington, DC (specifically the Special Media Archival Services Division), the Presidential Libraries, and external stakeholders. The purpose of these services is to assist our internal partners in making informed decisions regarding the preservation and reformatting of NARA’s video holdings. Limited enhancement is available to improve the visual and auditory experience of selected files for special purposes. An integral part of the preservation processes includes stabilization of physical objects in order to achieve appropriate information capture. Technical services staff assure digital products are of expected and consistent quality and the file format deliverables are well-formed and valid. In addition, the Video Preservation Lab offers limited technical support and training for NARA staff specifically in the Regions and Presidential Library system as well as internships and workshops for preservation / archival / library degree seeking students and individuals within NARA’s archival development programs. Finally, the Video Preservation Lab is a conduit for information exchange between NARA and the global video preservation community to help NARA’s archival process stay on pace with the latest research and developments in the field at large.

  • Consultation with NARA stakeholders

    • Advice on outsourcing to vendor versus what can be accomplished more successfully in-house
    • Advice on digital product deliverables in vendors or partner contracts
    • On-site visit to vendors/partners to review availability and condition of proposed transfer equipment
    • Provide advice on long term preservation planning options and actions
    • Provide technical guidance for digitization activities
    • Video: Consultation with NARA stakeholders

      • Serve as subject matter experts in digital moving image preservation issues
      • Serve as subject matter experts in analog and digital video preservation
  • Risk assessment

    • Physical condition assessment
    • Assist in setting priorities for yearly work plan and ongoing lab workflow
  • Enhancement for access

    • Video: Enhancement for access

      • Limited enhancement of reproduction and distribution files for improved visual or auditory quality to meet specific institutional needs
  • Stabilization of physical objects

    • Limited mold remediation, rehousing and cleaning for specific formats
    • All physical issues with textual and photographs are referred to Conservation staff.
    • Video: Stabilization of physical objects

      • Sticky shed remediation/tape baking
      • Tape splicing
      • Demagnetization
  • Technical Services

    • Technical metadata identification, collection, validation and schema development
    • Tool identification, evaluation and testing
    • Format obsolescence monitoring
    • Quality assurance program development
    • Quality control of digital products through automated systems and human driven processes
    • Equipment identification, evaluation, monitoring, testing and maintenance
  • Technical Support

    • Video: Technical Support

      • Digital editing station hardware and software installation
      • Video playback equipment installation and troubleshooting
  • Education and Training

    • Cross training provided for NARA staff (including Regions and Presidential Libraries)
    • Teach internal and external workshops and other classes
    • Host interns and lead departmental tours
    • Give presentations at professional conferences
    • Author articles, publications, or programs for internal and external journals as well as for events
  • Collaboration and outreach beyond NARA

    • Participate in the development of tools and standards
    • Monitor technical compliance with industry standards
    • Survey developments in comparable institutions in both process and products
    • Video: Collaboration and outreach beyond NARA

      • Develop and maintain essential relevant interaction beyond NARA through active participation in professional organizations such as Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), as well standard committees such as SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and FADGI (Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative).

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272