by Jolene Beiser, Project Archivist
Batch 1 of 4 is finishing up being digitized at George Blood audio in Philadelphia, PA! Meanwhile, here at Pacifica Radio Archives, Batch 2 is being prepped for shipment next month. People often stop by the archives and ask, “So, is everything digitized?” My response is usually my head exploding right there and then.
So, I thought I’d use this blog post to give a little insight as to what needs to happen even BEFORE the tapes leave the Archives to be digitized. Later, we’ll post more about what happens at the digitization house, and then what happens after we receive the digital audio.
FIRST, we move the batch of 425 tapes from their current location on our vault’s shelves to the grant processing shelves.
SECOND, we scan each of the 425 boxes and their labels. These scans will be added to the record for users to view while browsing our online catalog, and the scans will be printed out for the cataloger (me) to refer to while updating the records.
THIRD, we update each of the 425 catalog records in PRA’s Drupal-based content management system. The metadata is being edited to adhere to the PBCore metadata standard, and we are adding new information from the box scans.
FOURTH, a complete a tape condition assessment for each tape, and re-winding and/or re-housing as needed is done. See previous blog post describing this process here.
FIFTH, we pack the tapes in heavy duty plastic crates, print out shipping manifests, and send to George Blood, LP. via climate-controlled trucks. See previous blog post describing this process here.
SIXTH, we export the updated metadata for the 425 recordings from our content management system into an Excel spreadsheet for George Blood, LP, who will embed the metadata in the preservation audio file (B-WAV). See a sample of the metadata below.
8. Then on to the next batch of 425!!!!
The tapes are being processed by originating station, beginning with Pacifica’s oldest station, KPFA, and moving our way through WBAI, KPFK, KPFT and WPFW.
At this point we have cataloged and shipped approximately 350 tapes originated at KPFA Berkeley, and 75 from WBAI New York. The second batch, currently being cataloged, will consist of approximately 250 from WBAI and 175 from KPFK Los Angeles.