Center Audiovisual Preservation Survey Now Underway

By , June 1, 2011

On March 15, 2011, the Center for the History of Medicine,  Countway Library,  launched a comprehensive condition assessment survey of its audiovisual holdings under the leadership of the Weissman Preservation Center, the first of its kind in the Center’s history. Through the financial support of Weissman’s Adler Preservation Fund, Weissman is conducting a systematic assessment of AV materials in special collections at Harvard. Weissman’s Program Officer for Audiovisual Materials Elizabeth Walters (pictured) is conducting the Center’s  on-site evaluation and has already surveyed over 600 items from both processed and unprocessed collections, revealing audiovisual materials previously hidden to Center staff.

Weissman's Program Officer for Audiovisual Materials Elizabeth Walters working at the Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library.

The initiative utilizes a web-based application developed by Weissman called SAVE (Support for Audiovisual Evaluation) that enables the collection and aggregation of item-level condition assessment data for AV materials that unites physical characteristics and condition data with curatorial information related to an item’s research value. In combination, this information can be used to identify items that are at greatest risk due to format obsolescence and physical condition, and to establish priorities for appropriate preservation actions.

The Center joins fellow special collections repositories at Harvard in the survey, including the Harvard University Archives and the Historical and Special Collections Department of the Harvard Law School Library.

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