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Written as a case study, this article outlines Duke Law School Information Services’ video digitization, preservation, and access initiative. Since the 1990s Duke Law School’s Media Department has been recording law school events, guest speakers, and creating promotional productions for news and information resulting in over 1000 recordings in various video formats. This article begins with a discussion of the case study environment and the collaborative, cross-departmental evaluation of in-house video asset production and processing workflows involving the Communications, Academic Technologies, and Library Departments. Believing that digital preservation is often best described as a set of practices and institutions that ensure preservation, rather than a software system, the in-house preservation reformatting process and new collection development policies that resulted from this evaluation are presented in detail. This is followed by descriptions of the programmatic approach used to coordinate multiple access venues by focusing on Python scripting and Google Data APIs to deliver consistent content and metadata to Youtube, Drupal, Endeca/Aleph, and Digital Commons. The article concludes with a discussion of best practices and trade-offs that were made in order to balance requirements and resources related to the unique media collection and its continued maintenance.


This paper is an author pre-print version.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Libraries and video recording, Library materials--Conservation and restoration, Libraries—Special collections—Video tapes