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Sarah E. H. Potvin's picture

2013 ALA Midwinter Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group (IAPM-IG) Meeting Minutes

The IAPM IG met on Saturday, January 26, 2013, 3-4PM, at ALA Midwinter in Seattle.

-The program opened with a brief business meeting, during which Shawn announced that we were accepting proposals for programming for the upcoming Annual meeting. Shawn also announced that, as her term as co-chair would be ending with Annual, anyone interested in becoming an IAPM co-chair should contact us.

-Having concluded the business meeting, Sarah made a brief announcement about a DSpace metadata development project.

-Sarah then introduced the program speaker, Dr. Howard Besser. Dr. Besser is a Professor at New York University, where he directs the masters program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation.

-Dr. Besser presented on “Archiving Media from the Occupy Movement: Trying to Involve Participants in Making their Creations More Preservable.”

Dr. Besser has made his presentation available online: http://besser.tsoa.nyu.edu/howard/Talks/12ala-occupy-seattle-outreach.pdf

The presentation addressed the work of Activist Archivists in trying to preserve media related to the Occupy Movement through engagement with its participants. Methods ranged from outreach activities (such as the creation of a "Why Archive" postcard and video employing language and principles important to movement members) to guidelines concerning file formats and metadata.

Besser opened with a broad discussion of tips for outreach to communities. He advised that those seeking to outreach should identify ways to meet the needs perceived by collection-holders (for example, someone with a large collection of digital photographs may not know they have a preservation problem but may be concerned about filenaming and storage). He emphasized that preservation outreach required a focus on content and metadata as well as rights, which might impede the preservation process.

Besser then introduced the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement as a case study in outreach for digital preservation. Within six months after Occupy began, there were more than half a million photographs taken and contributed to Flickr with tags related to the Movement—a vast quantity of undifferentiated user-generated material. There is a need to find smart ways to harvest and analyze existing materials, which can be easily located on social networks, as well as to influence the behavior of those producing these materials. Besser’s prior work with InterPARES and the Preserving Digital Public Television Project confirm the need for early intervention in the lifecycle of digital object creation—preservation does not begin when the work enters the archive.

A group of students from the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at NYU formed Activist Archivists (AA) and worked to intervene and archive media from OWS. This included still images, video, and audio. The AA encountered particular challenges engaging OWS and its in-house Archives Working Group. Besser highlighted outreach materials, included postcards and a short film, created by AA to engage OWS in preservation and help ensure long-term use of media materials captured by OWS. AA also sought to compile best practices for OWS content creators, including research into laws about videotaping on the street and guidelines for uploading and depositing content with an archive.

Besser presented the results of a study of metadata loss performed by AA, which tested what metadata was retained or stripped out and how files were affected when uploaded to various social media and streaming services, including YouTube, Internet Archive, and Vimeo. Also noted were user agreement restrictions that prevented the download of videos from YouTube.

Intervention by AA resulted in the streaming recordings of OWS being captured on magnetic media for storage (AA then cataloged and enhanced metadata), the negotiation of a CC-licensed deposit agreement with NYU Library, and established methods for recording regular OWS Think Tank meetings.

The floor was then opened to questions. Attendees asked about archiving Tweets, which social media sites claim ownership of materials or apply non-exclusive licenses, and how devices and apps mangle metadata.