Thursday, February 19, 2009

University of Washington Libraries Moving Image Collection

University of Washington Libraries Moving Image Collection

Office Map

The UW Moving Image Collection falls under the umbrella of the universities’ Digital Initiatives Program. The program began in 1997 and focuses on the user’s perspective when designing digital libraries.

The collection is comprised of one to four minute film clips that come from industrial films, documentaries, home movies, art films, and news footage that were either created on the UW Campus or collected in the Northwest. The film clips range in formats, including 35 mm, Super 8, 2” Quad, and digibeta dating from 1915 to the 21st century.

The main page of the collection links to an instruction manual for film preservation written by the digital collections staff that is highly interesting. It contains information about the strides their own film preservation has taken since 2003 when they were given a grant that allowed them to purchase new equipment and expand their program. The manual is a work in progress and offers advice in the evaluation and decision-making behind film preservation.

You are able to either browse the collection or browse by subject in order to choose a film clip to view. The subject list is in alphabetical order and offers choices such as “American” or “aerial.” There are only 23 clips on the site, but all contain links the user may click on to download and view them as well as fairly extensive metadata. There are thumbnail stills that represent each clip that you can select when browsing the collection. Below each thumbnail there is a description of the clip that includes a title, location and date of the recording.

The notes element of metadata is particularly useful, offering a specific description of each event that takes place in sequential order in the clip. These descriptions are taken from Title cards that have been provided by a cataloger. There are hyperlinks within some of the elements such as “home movies” in the film/video title metadata; these links connect you to other clips in the collection that can be described similarly.

The main page about the Digital Initiatives Program states that anyone with questions concerning scanning techniques to input media can contact the site for more information. It specifically says the Dublin Core Metadata element set is used in tandem with CONTENT software to create a template that is then tailored to each collection. The Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials and Library of Congress Subject Headings are also listed as being used in many of the digital collections.

Though this online collection is small, I found it to be very well put together. The listed metadata is extensive and informative and there are several simple ways to search through the clips using controlled vocabulary. The clips themselves, once downloaded, are clear and of good quality. I’d like to read the Washington State Film Preservation Manual: Low-Cost and No-Cost Suggestions To Care For Your Film as it is updated.

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