Archive Achievement Awards 2020
At the 2020 IASA – FIAT/IFTA Joint Conference held online, the Archive Achievement Awards were attributed to three particularly interesting projects, outstanding archival initiatives that have significantly improved the ways in which the archives are preserved, managed and used.
The FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievement Awards yearly reward initiatives bring the professional preservation and management of audiovisual archives higher. The Archive Achievement Awards are developed by FIAT/IFTA, the international federation of television archives. Members of FIAT/IFTA can nominate their own organisation, or they can nominate a person or organisation with whom they have collaborated to bring the project to a successful end.
FIAT/IFTA is humbled to award the 2020 Lifetime Honorary Award to Annemieke de Jong.
Since 2014 FIAT/IFTA has also given a special Lifetime Honorary Award to a person with special merits for FIAT/IFTA and the field of audiovisual archiving as a whole. This year the jury honoured someone…
Since 2014 FIAT/IFTA has also given a special Lifetime Honorary Award to a person with special merits for FIAT/IFTA and the field of audiovisual archiving as a whole. This year the jury honoured someone…
“who entered the world of audiovisual archiving in the eighties, 38 years ago, as a documentalist at the national news broadcaster of her country.
She quickly rose to strategic policy and managerial positions where for the next decades she relentlessly advocated for the deplorable conditions of audiovisual archives in her country to change. By 1988 her work had already led to a 15 million euro funded program for addressing issues in the preservation and presentation of audiovisual archives in her country. She was one of the leading players in the formation of a centralised public broadcast archive in her country, and in the subsequent formation of a separate institution dedicated to this task. This institution is today one of the global leaders in our profession.
From the nineties onwards she advocated to exploit the opportunities for our sector, promised by digitisation. She also became ever more active in FIAT/IFTA: she was a co-founder of the FIAT/IFTA Media Management Seminars – which after 20 years have gained an indisputable status in the international community of media archivists – and she was the main driver behind the transformation of the Documentation Commission into the Media Management Commission in 2000. It is an excellent example of how she masters the fine art of anticipating evolution.
She also played a key role in the design of the digital archive and the implementation of digital preservation standards, not only at her archive, but in the audiovisual archiving domain as a whole. In 2016 this resulted in obtaining the Data Seal of Approval as the first audiovisual archive in the world, for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
But this special colleague is not only appreciated for her outstanding professional track record. She is also admired for her never ceasing urge to achieve the highest quality, simply because for her, anything else is not an option. She combines a sharp vision with unstoppable energy and an exceptional talent for explaining things as clear as crystal, both in written and in oral form.
On retiring this year, she produced another distinctive and inspired publication entitled The Agile AV Archive – Prestige and Identity in times of technological change – a fascinating reflection into the past and future status, role, function and characteristics required of the profession she has nurtured, developed and studied throughout her career.
We in FIAT/IFTA, – and we’re confident that at Sound and Vision they share our opinion –can only hope that she stays around and continues to motivate and inspire us for years to come.
The FIAT/IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 goes to Annemieke de Jong.”
Meet the winners!
DAAN tenancy for the Dutch Parliament
by Annelies Cordes & Arnoud Goos, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
In 2018 Sound and Vision launched the new MAM system DAAN (Digital Audiovisual Archive of the Netherlands). With DAAN it is possible to not just manage Sound and Visions own AV collection, but also third party collections. These third parties can become a ‘Tenant’ in the system. Examples of existing Tenants in DAAN are Fox Sports, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam City Archive, Limburgs Museum and regional broadcaster Omroep Zeeland. As of 2020 the Dutch Parliament and the National Archives also became a Tenant in DAAN. The nominated project focuses on that particular Tenancy.
The whole idea of Tenancy in DAAN is built on the belief that the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision should be a national audio-visual archive not just for radio and television collections, but also for other AV-collections. The MAM system of Sound and Vision was built with public money, so why should other government bodies, museums, universities and archives all built their own AV archive when a great one is already in place (at Sound and Vision)? With Tenancy these organizations, who usually have just a small percentage of AV in their total collection, would not waiver ownership of their own collections or archives. They would just ‘rent’ a portion of Sound and Vision existing infrastructure. A Tenant can also get a dedicated portal built on DAAN with only their own collections on it. So users of for instance the University of Amsterdam would not need to filter their way through the large Sound and Vision collection, to get to the University’s video’s.
Sound and Vision is specialized (even certified) to handle digital preservation of AV collections, so Sound and Vision can easily take care of other collections as if they are their own. Other benefits of DAAN Tenancy are: 1. The user of the archive can search in one catalogue and find items from all kinds of collections in the Netherlands, national and regional, big or small. 2. Sound and Vision already has specific portals in place for education, professional re-use and research. A (smaller) tenant, such as a regional archive or a museum, gets a simple way to reach these sometimes difficult to find target groups.
Since 2020 all of the plenary debates of the Dutch Parliament are ingested and made accessible in DAAN, through a Parliament Tenancy. The collection consists of long duration videos of 10 hours+, and has detailed proceedings in text that is ingested through XML. The debates are full text-searchable on the portals of Sound and Vision.
The parliament is still the owner of the collection and the ownership will be transferred to The National Archives in a few years. The collection will remain at Sound and Vision (but will be put in the National Archives tenant instead of the Parliament tenant), but is also findable in the National Archives catalogue and linked through a Persistent Identifier.
The moment after the plenary debate in the parliament is over, the video will be sent to Sound and Vision. The video is already according to Sound and Vision standards for quality and file format, but is automatically checked nonetheless. The provisional proceedings are sent through a xml-file and is added to the video in DAAN to make it searchable. After a few days the corrected proceedings are sent and they will overwrite the provisional xml in DAAN (the proceedings are checked and signed off by members of parliament). A persistent identifier is created and will be linked to the National Archives.
THE JURY COMMENTS
“This project is a clever and inventive use of Media Management tools to manage multiple collections and owners, one that really leads the way in MAM (pronounced as the word mam) and archive provision for institutions who own varying sizes of AV collections, but lack the expertise to manage them.”
RAI Teche XClope Audio Project
by Danila Komar, RAI
The archive of Rai Teche audio media includes more than 250000 physical media including ¼ inch open reel tapes, DAT, vinyl records. The material contained on these supports has an extraordinary cultural and historical value. Preservation and use of their contents is one of the mission of Teche RAI.
Some of the 1/4-inch tapes were digitized more than 10 years ago with some obsolete acquisition stations, others are still being acquired with the station developed by the Rai Research Center (CRITS) 10 years ago. One of the goals of the XClope project was to make the digital file acquisition stream independent from the media digitization station.
The XClope Audio project had the ambition to merge the identifying and descriptive metadata of more than 100000 programs, recorded on this various media, and to allow the access to the digital material, hidden in the archives for years. This access to the media is possible to the entire RAI through its Multimedia Catalogue (CMM Teche). The digital entries can now be reused for creating new content and used for research by those who study the history of radio, society and culture in general.
From an editorial point of view, the contents of this audio archive can be categorized into 3 large groups: music, radio programs( including news) and raw material. The other goal achieved with the XClope Audio project was to allow digital files not digitized with the CRITS station to be added to the workflow, thus allowing the acquisition of DAT tapes, vinyl records and audio files in addition to the ¼-inch open-reel tapes. All these materials that through the Xclope workflow reach the documentation, which enriches the media with descriptive metadata, and the RAI multimedia catalog from which they are therefore usable by all RAI employees.
The hours of material recovered and made available so far amount to more than 35000 hours. The project developed with a Microsoft SQL Server database and written in the .NET Framework 4.5 C# language has both rewritten old applications and their functions and added new functions and made more performing some steps of the production flow (e.g. the creation of the audio waveform, the scanning of paper material).
The project also implemented the (optional) low-quality file normalization feature to be provided to the CMM according to EBU standards, thus making audio files, whose original quality for reasons of physical deterioration is bad, audible and documentable. High-quality files can be restored with professional software (iZotope RX6). The XClope website can provide links for download the .mp3 and .wav files from the digitization archive. This feature is enabled only for restricted roles and user profiles.
Teche is trying to make the multimedia objects in its catalog connected to each other, imagining to create what we call “circular browsing” between objects. We mean with circular for e.g. the possibility of relating the audio files of the Radio Dramas recordings and the PDF files of the scans of the scripts, allowing the user to read the script interpreted by the actors while listening to the play. Another example of this link among the objects in the catalog can be to read the PDF of the scan of a musical score by listening to its performance by an orchestra or in the case of programs, read the scan of their lineup. In this context, XClope has provided and continues to provide the audio files to be connected with the other objects in the catalogue.
THE JURY COMMENTS
“The project is a perfect example of a particularly rigorous application of the prevailing standards for the digitization of audio objects, combined with the smart use of new technologies. As a result, a rare quality and efficiency level is achieved. Moreover, the workflow is designed in such a way that immediate valorisation online becomes possible. This project is therefore an example for radio archives worldwide.”
by Maria Pia Ammirati, RAI
The restoration of Vittorio Cottafavi’s film “Maria Zef” by RAI allowed to bring to light a work of undoubted historical and sociological value as it carefully recounts an Italian rural area of the beginning of the 1900s. Particular attention has been paid to the care and future preservation of physical films. All the processing phases were carried out with particular attention to not compromising the original message that the director wanted to communicate to the public and this involved working for over two months.
Mariute, the name of the protagonist in the Friuli dialect, is Rosute’s elder sister. The two sisters are now orphans and have been taken in by Uncle Barbe Zef, a mountain dweller whom poverty has made particularly nasty. He takes them to an isolated house where they are to live a life of sacrifice and hardship. The sisters are subjected to constant exploitation. When Mariute finds herself alone because her sister has had to stay in hospital, the harassment turns into extreme violence and incest, in a brutal, inescapable spiral.
Chinese Century’s Anti-Epidemic History
by Jianqiang, Xiaoyu, Min, Yijin, Lei, Dongpeng, Shanghai Media Group – Shanghai Audio-Visual Archives
Novel Coronavirus starts to spread globally since January 2020. Shanghai Audio-Visual Archives, through collecting, processing and studying historical moving images of China’s fighting against all kinds of plagues and major infectious diseases from 20th century, has built a Chinese historical image database of anti-epidemic rapidly.
The moving image Database of Chinese Anti-Epidemic History, through the production and dissemination of documentaries and short videos, popularizes the knowledge of pandemic prevention during the critical period of the epidemic, increases public’s confidence of overcoming the coronavirus and preserves the complete video records of the epidemic period in China and in Shanghai region. These records have become a unique component of Shanghai’s memory of city image. We do and carry forward the following work:
- Global collecting: Cooperating with foreign well-known audio-visual archives, archives and libraries, we have established global collection channels and have continuously discovered newer and more authoritative historical images of anti-epidemic.
- Documentary program supporting: To satisfy the demand of SMG programs, we have offered content planning, consultation, compilation and callback services to the frontline’s historical images of anti-epidemic. Meanwhile, we collaborate with the documentary center and complete the project “Safe Mountains and Rivers—Archives Affecting China’s Pandemic”, rendering services of full planning and information director. During the pandemic, the database has provided over 300 pieces of audiovisual materials of all types which are more than 450 minutes in length for various channels.
- Society-oriented services: According to the different demands of various social film and television institutions of production and files, we are offering epidemic images resources from raw materials to completed films or newsreels. That firstly satisfies domestic and Shanghai local archives’ requirements of collecting historical images and secondly meets various archives and museums’ exhibition requirements through providing short video and documentary production. Currently, 4-5 archives and production institutions in cities, districts and universities have put forward clear intention of cooperation and specific needs.
by Antoine Bayet, Xavier Lemarchand, Pauline Baduel & Elodie Leleu, INA
On March 18 2020, INA has launched its new streaming platform called ‘Madelen’, an ‘educational Netflix’, with human recommendation for all TV archives lovers, but also students and the youngest. Available in app stores and on a dedicated website, this platform offers more than 13,000 video and audio programs, selected from the millions hours of archive of INA catalogue. Madelen operates as a streaming platform, with themes such as series, fictions, documentaries, concerts and shows, debates and ‘cartes blanches’. “We will take the user by hand to take him to visit the INA programs,” explained Antoine Bayet, head of INA’s digital publishing department. Within INA collections, “There are treasures to discover, and our job is precisely to pass on this treasure.”
On mainstream platforms, people quickly find themselves locked up by algorithms. It is true that if you have such style of series, then you will only be offered this type of series. On Madelen, on the contrary, behind each content is a librarian, an archivist, a journalist who editorializes the content.
Madelen has been designed following several axes,
- An increased editorialization around a tightened offer: a logic aimed at favoring relevance over abundance, around programs selected for their audience or editorial interest.
- Content enriched with bonuses and decryptions, articles revealing the backstage of a program.
- White cards to personalities: they transmit their favorites programs and archival content.
On the user side, the offer is adapting all screen sizes (tablets, PCs and TVs, with the CAST function) and a dedicated app (iOS and Android) offering download for viewing offline programs. Navigation and ergonomics are meeting the standards of streaming in 2020.
THE JURY COMMENTS
“The project has been created as a result of significant collaboration between INA departments, requiring expertise from collections management, technology, communications, research, finance, administrative, legal and rights teams. It proves the value that archives can add to the viewing experience by unlocking archive content for entertainment purposes. Its ambition, scale and audience reach potential are impressive.”
Storytelling with Media Suite Data Stories
by Roeland Ordelman, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Media Suite – Data Stories serves as an online platform for storytelling based on data. It presents narratives interspersed with visualisations, gleaned from interesting facts and figures that are extracted from large archives of AV media. Such narratives can be part of an academic endeavor, an investigative journalism report, the outcome of a datathon, or assembled by archivists inspired by events in the news. The topic can be anything from a story looking back over the 15 year run of a highly successful TV programme, to a semantic analysis of the ambiguity of information about the coronavirus as reported in the media. The Media Suite offers the core functionalities needed for this. Tools for distant and close reading, various advanced options for data analytics, and a workspace for conveniently saving work in projects.
The Media Suite is a virtual research environment. Data stories are for a general audience, but the Media Suite is designed to be used by scholars and investigative journalists who are interested in a data science approach, using AV collections and related multimedia data such as TV program guides, film schedule information, viewer ratings, scripts, posters and photos. The data come from Dutch institutes such as the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NISV), the Eye Film Institute, and the Royal Library. The Media Suite is part of what we sometimes playfully refer to as a storytelling superhub. A node in the nascent Research & Heritage data infrastructure in the Netherlands, initiated by the CLARIAH project for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and supported by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network. NISV is responsible for the development and long term maintenance of the Media Suite, in close collaboration with partners within the infrastructure.
The Media Suite incorporates federated authentication services. Some of the data is open access and can be used by anyone. But to enable access to copyright-protected or privacy-sensitive data for academic research or journalism, we can tailor access to groups (academic researchers, collection owners), and individuals (journalists, researcher without a university affiliation, citizen scientists). Access rights are controlled by the collection owners themselves via collective agreements and by issuing individual accounts.
The Media Suite uses artificial intelligence for large scale automatic metadata extraction such as speech recognition, computer vision and natural language processing. This boosts its capabilities for producing insights for data stories. For brave users with a do-it-yourself attitude, the Media Suite facilitates programming your own data insight discovery via APIs and a programming environment (Jupyter Notebooks). This leads to new investigative possibilities and represents the middle ground between being a data novice and a fully fledged programmer.
The Media Suite is an innovation lab. We are experimenting with new ways to open up, explore and exploit the multifaceted richness of large multimedia archives, focussing on disclosure, access, analysis, interfacing, visualisation, storytelling and community involvement. We are in a constant process of reflection and agile co-development with our users, striving towards a better user experience. For this, we are delighted to be able to collaborate with our partners in academia and higher education in a variety of research and innovation projects funded by national and European funding schemes.
by Antoine Bayet, Laure Audinot & Le studio Hypermédia, INA
Lumni is the new French public audiovisual service offering for the education of pupils, teachers and educators. Lumni, a reminder to the word ‘light’ and the Latin term ‘alumni’ to say ‘pupils’, was born in November 2019. The platform, co-managed by France Télévisions and INA, houses 10,000 educational content that, for example, allow children’s classes to be completed and that can be used as educational materials for teachers. The public audiovisual companies have been working on this project for no less than three years (France télévisions, INA, Radio France, Arte, France Medias Monde, TV5Monde). This unique educational offer, free, expert and advertising-free, gives access to culture and knowledge for all children aged 3 to 18 and covers all school disciplines from kindergarten to the final year.
All programs are indexed by level, discipline and theme. With more than 12,000 videos, sounds, games and folders, this catalogue proposes:
- To students alone or accompanied to develop their general culture, to extend their courses, to understand the world by learning differently and to become enlightened citizens able to decode the news.
- For teachers to enrich and prepare their courses.
- For educators resources to facilitate their workshops.
With an editorial offer adapted to each universe, Lumni regularly enriches its offering with native web programs, courses, games, quizzes, as well as programs and operations with high educational value.
INA was more particularly in charge of developing ‘Lumni Enseignement’ [Lumni teachings]. Audiovisual materials, issued from INA collections and other partners’ collections, have been selected according to the main themes of the school curricula, and will be of interest to teachers of the first and second degree: history, geography, media and information education, moral and civic education, arts, science, literature, French, economics and social sciences, science and technology, French as a second language, etc. The Lumni platform offers access to content via four navigation modes: chronological, cartographic, list, mosaic. Each audiovisual resource is enriched with a documentary notice, rebounds and, depending on the content, a historical context, a media background note, a synchronized full transcript of the soundtrack, and pedagogical support in the form of a transverse track or a downloadable booklet.
Lumni also makes it possible to create workbooks by selecting videos, sharing them and, depending on the content, selecting an excerpt from a video to save it. Teachers have the option of creating a single account to share with their students so that they can access partner resources.