Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Digitising yesterday’s tapes for tomorrow
Yesterday I attended a round-table discussion on digitising the broadcast archive of the Government Information Services Ltd (GISL). Held at the Old Fire Station, Port-of-Spain, in commemoration of Unesco’s World Day for Audio Visual Heritage 2013, the round table began with an overview of a pilot project, begun officially in May, for GISL to collaborate with UWI to make digital versions of selected recordings.
Such material needs to be digitised because it is on a variety of media—all of them frangible and deteriorating over time. Some of the media are obsolete—remember reel-to-reel tape? And there is a scarcity of replay equipment and people skilled in its use.
Two UWI cultural studies postgraduate students, Nigel Diaz and Marvin George, worked as interns to log and catalogue the content of the selected recordings. The project has three phases: content organisation (the research phase); tape dubbing/transfer (the digitisation phase); and final compilation output (the preservation phase).
The tapes, they said, generally fall into three broad categories: social history, festivals and performances, and rituals and religion. The interns ask questions in organising the content, such as who might find it useful, and how best to catalogue it so it can be useful at all. After all, if you don’t know it’s there, you won’t know to look for it.
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