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DigiCULT
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Info
44
THE SOLUTIONS
European Action
The European Commission has recognised
the scale and severity of AV preservation
problems, as have the professional societies
representing AV collections. There is now
a basis for concerted European action on
preservation of these materials. An exam-
ple of this recognition and co-operation has
been the various FP5 projects in the area:
BRAVA (http://www.ina.fr/recherche/
projets/encours/brava/)
AURORA (http://www.ina.fr/
recherche/projets/finis/aurora/)
DIAMANT (http://diamant.joanneum.
at/)
SEPIA (http://www.knaw.nl/ecpa/sepia/
home.html)
PRESTO (http://presto.joanneum.ac.at/
index.asp)
ARCHIMEDIA (http://www.ledoux.
be/archimedia/)
DELOS (http://delos-noe.iei.pi.cnr.it/)
ERPANET (http://www.erpanet.org/)
MINERVA (http://www.minervaeurope.
org/)
DigiCULT (http://www.digicult.info)
and FIRST (http://www.film-first.org/
first/), all contributing to understanding
and action.
Broadcast Sector Successes
The other major positive development has
been the funding of large-scale preservation
projects in the broadcast sector. Broadcast
archives are privileged their contents have
high value and high levels of use, and they
exist within an enterprise (broadcasting)
that is converting all operations from ana-
logue to digital. This situation provides the
business case for large broadcasters to invest
up to 10 million Euros per year in digitisa-
tion/preservation projects.
F
or example, the BBC (UK) has com-
mitted 80 million Euros of its own
funding over a 10-year period. RAI (Italy)
committed even more resources over a
shorter period, when all its radio holdings
were digitised in the last three years. RAI
and INA (France) have also invested heavily
in mass storage systems and the associated
digitisation/preservation of video material.
There are a dozen or more similar projects
across Europe. These internal projects have
developed cost-effective assembly-line
approaches to AV preservation. The EC
project PRESTO documented this work,
extended the technology, and generally pro-
moted the `preservation factory' approach.
It is the task of PrestoSpace to extend this
knowledge and approach, to make cost-
effective `preservation transfers' available to
all AV media collections, not just broad-
cast archives.
SPECIFIC PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED AT
THE USER REQUIREMENTS MEETING:
THE THREE FS
Format
Eddie Goray of RTBF (http://www4.
rtbf.be) in Brussels reported on the anal-
ysis made by the EC project FIRST a
concerted action on the impact of dig-
ital technologies on film. Assuming film
can be digitised at an acceptable techni-
cal standard, how are the digital data to
be stored? He showed that high-quality
digitisation of a single feature film could
require 10 Terabytes (1012 bytes) of stor-
age, equivalent to 2000 DVDs or 100 very-
high-capacity datatapes. Also there is no
agreed data format for high-resolution film
digitisation. Therefore storage format and
file format are substantial obstacles to the
use of digital technology in film preser-
vation. Mass storage also has problems for
television programmes. Until now, the per-
manent record of a TV programme could
be held on a single film or tape. Mass stor-
age distributes data across an array of serv-
ers or tapes. Archives do not, in general,
want to abandon all sense of a single phys-
ical entity corresponding to an archive
`holding'.
Finding
There is also a problem knowing about the
content of AV archives. Even for those with
comprehensive catalogues, there is a prob-
lem knowing what other archives have. It
is vital to have a comprehensive European
approach to standards and to data sharing,
to prevent waste on duplication of preser-
vation activity and to ensure archives can
find, across Europe, the best original mate-
rial. This problem is most important for
commercial material such as cinema films
and commercial music recordings. But there
are also many examples of finding TV and
radio material in archives other than those
of the producing company and, of course,
From left to right: Daniel Teruggi - PrestoSpace project co-ordinator
and Head of R&D, INA, Giovanna Fossati - Filmmuseum, Thomas
Christensen - Danish Film Institute, Eddy Goray - RTBF head of New
Technologies Department and First project representative

Richar
d
Wr
ight,

2004