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AV Reformatting at Brandeis University: “Small is Good” ~~~~~ NEA Meeting Spring 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "AV Reformatting at Brandeis University: “Small is Good” ~~~~~ NEA Meeting Spring 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 AV Reformatting at Brandeis University: “Small is Good” ~~~~~ NEA Meeting Spring 2007

2 Presentation Goals  Demonstrate that small shops with limited resources can succeed.  Reassure that copyright need not be a barrier to reformatting.  Help to demystify grant application and reformatting processes.  Clarify that grants are time-consuming, but manageable.

3 URL to Grant Proposal Brandeis University’s proposal to the NTVPF can be found at: lts.brandeis.edu/research/archives-speccoll/ collections/ntvpfgrant.html

4 Project Overview  National Television & Video Preservation Foundation (NTVPF).  In-kind grants to preserve and reformat television and video materials (inaugural grants: ).  Funded preservation of ten videotapes from Morse Communications Research Center Collection.

5 Collection Background I  Comprises 34 cu. ft. of audio-visual materials: 16mm film, reel-to-reel audiotape, 2-inch quad videotape.  Originally housed at University’s former Morse Communications Research Center.  Discovered in building basement and transferred to University Archives ca. late 1990s.

6 Collection Background II  Morse Communications Research Center established in 1961 to study and analyze communication in modern society.  Center’s goal: to improve educational radio and television in U.S. and abroad.  Created audio-visual archives documenting local, state, national political campaigns for in-house research purposes.

7 Where it all came from… Morse Communications Research Center

8 Center Founders Louis G. Cowan Former President, CBS Television

9 Center Founders Henry Morgenthau III Former Executive Producer, WGBH-TV

10 Who Needs Provenance?  Cowan acquired broadcasts from advertising agencies and TV networks across the country.  By mid-1960s: Over 400 films, audiotapes, and videotapes covering key political campaigns in U.S. and Europe,  Collection rediscovered 35 years later with basic inventory, no provenancial information.

11 Can you say… COPYRIGHT NIGHTMARE ?

12 Selection Process  Criteria for culling AV materials: –historical and research value, and –lack of availability in other repositories, based on survey of relevant film/television archives, archival repositories, and bibliographic databases (see grant proposal).

13 And the Winner is… Quad videotape on Ampex machine

14 Another View of the Winner 2-inch quad videotape

15 Fun with Copyright  Grants: Preference is always for materials in the public domain; don’t let that stop you!  Never hurts to ask about eligibility, despite perceived copyright restrictions.  In grant proposal: agreed to contact all known copyright holders and clarify permissions to use/reproduce materials. (What was I thinking?)

16 Fun with Copyright?  Grant stipulation: make good-faith effort to secure clearance from copyright holders and verify materials not reformatted elsewhere.  Tracking ownership an onerous task: original TV networks, independent production companies, etc. were defunct, or had changed hands ten times…  Sent out an SOS to NTVPF!

17 Fair Use Saves the Day  Reformatting of broadcasts likely considered Fair Use under Copyright Law : –Reformatting was solely for purposes of enhancing accessibility. –Works were factual news reports and political advertisements vs. fictional, artistic creations. –No perceived market for licensing of political broadcasts.

18 Copyright Can be Fun!  Political broadcasts were likely in public domain: –Copyright probably not registered in 1962 when programs were aired; or –Copyright not renewed 28 years later ( in 1990) as required at that time to retain copyright protection.  Case for Fair Use and search for copyright holders documented in letter to NTVPF, confirming our due diligence and assessment of legal risk to University. (Whew!)

19 The Joys of Bureaucracy  Office of Sponsored Research is your friend, though sometimes a lumbering one.  Have legal counsel or a seasoned grant writer review the agreement.  Make sure the agreement protects your organization, not just the granting institution.

20 From 20 lbs. to 3 oz.  Formatting choices based on preservation and access needs: –BetaSP (analog preservation master) –DigiBeta (digital access master) –DVD (access copy)  Original tapes, preservation masters, and access masters stored in off-site climate-controlled facility.  Access DVDs stored onsite and catalogued in library OPAC, in WorldCat, and on website.

21 In Closing…  Reformatting of AV materials presents project management issues we’ve faced before!  Small is Good: incremental, step-by-step approach to reformatting will increase probability of success, and may be parlayed into future reformatting projects.

22 YOU CAN DO IT! ~~~~~ Thank you.


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