Past Workshops

Moving Image and Sound Digital Preservation Software Tools & Intro to Python for AV

June 24, 2021 | 12-6pm EST

June 25, 2021 | 12-5pm EST

Much of the day-to-day work in digital preservation is in the technical realm: moving files, checking for file integrity, understanding and implementing processes for ingest and so on. While some archivists can closely collaborate with computer programmers and IT departments, many institutions do not have the resources and will need to build technical skills on their own. Even when an IT department exists, not all needs of digital-based archival work can be fulfilled in a timely manner, thus having an archivist or digital archivist who can empower themselves with handy scripts and practical experience in the command line becomes essential.

This workshop is designed to be an intensive two-days of demonstrations and practical exercises, starting with the command line interface, tools demonstration, and working up to, on day two, an introduction to Python scripting.

Day one:
Learning objectives include an introductory level of familiarity with the command line interface, where many digital preservation applications are run from. The participants will come away with an understanding of Homebrew (Mac) and Winget (Windows), how to navigate a file system using basic commands including listing files in a directory, creating a new directory, permissions issues, and where files are located. The second half of the first day will then be devoted to tool demonstrations and exercises, covering av-specific tools, such as FFmpeg and Mediainfo, as well as utilities like rsync, which allow the user to automatically copy files from one place to another, and Bagit, which is used regularly in many digital preservation repositories and environments.

Day two: 
The second day will be focused on learning what scripts can do to help facilitate the work of a digital preservation practitioner. What is a programming language and what is its utility for everyday work, and what makes Python particularly useful? The basic concepts will be covered, and then move on to utilizing some example scripts in scenarios like, generating file manifests from folders of files, generating custom technical metadata reports with MediaInfo, and transcoding videos. 

Day 1 Instructor:

Brendan Coates

Day 2 Instructors:

Benjamin H. Turkus and Nick Krabbenhoeft

Lesson website: Day 2

ffmprovisr resource: Day 2

Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound

May 27-28, 2021 | 2-5pm EST

Moving image and sound materials were challenging to steward in the analog era, and now with the turn to digital preservation, an entirely new set of challenges are presented for collection managers. While there is clear overlap between digital preservation of static material and time-based media, many unique factors are involved in the latter, including characteristics such as multiple codecs within a container, multi-track audio recordings, obscure analog video formats, handling large files, and so on. The workshop will provide an overview of factors like these, alongside exercises to assist in working with moving image and sound material in digital preservation activities.

This two-day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to digital preservation with a focus on the moving image and sound asset lifecycle. Alongside digital preservation fundamentals, attendees will learn about current advances in the field, format identification, what audiovisual materials to prioritize for transfer, readying materials for digitization, quality assurance and metadata for the purpose of digital preservation. An introduction to a selection of software tools, and some hands-on work will be incorporated. Participants will come away with practical skills and methods for crafting and implementing a digital preservation workflow for audiovisual materials in their collections, and a basic knowledge of the purpose and application of technical metadata. Time will be reserved for participants to sign up for one-on-one office hours so that individualized questions may be addressed by the instructor.


Lauren Sorensen

Slides: Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound (PDF)
Reading List: Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound (PDF)

Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale:
An Introduction

April 15-16, 2021 | 2-5pm EST

May 18-19, 2021 | 1-4pm EST

June 21-22, 2021 | 1-4pm EST

As cultural production and communication have moved online, the need for archivists to document history in real time has become increasingly clear and urgent. Yet the scale and complexity of online information and media can be daunting, even as web archiving tools and practices continue to evolve. And while large institutions are able to devote staff to keeping pace with new technologies and their attendant ethical concerns, small-to-mid sized organizations frequently rely on archivists who already handle many other responsibilities for this work. How does one design a web archiving program that meets the demands of our time with the resources at hand?

This two-day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to web archiving fundamentals and tools for archivists seeking to initiate web archiving programs within their organizations and communities that are grounded in ethical practices and scaled to their resources. Attendees will learn about current projects and advances in the field, and receive practical guidance on drafting collecting policies based on institutional mission and capacity, as well as hands-on instruction using open source tools. Participants should come away with a firm grounding in the principles and tools needed to sustainably advocate, plan for, and implement web archiving in their institutions. No previous experience in web archiving is required.


Sumitra Duncan and Amye McCarther

Resource list: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Day 1 Slides: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Day 2 Slides: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Web Archiving Glossary: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Web Archiving Tools Decision Chart: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Worksheet: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale