Advanced Digitization


This international 3-day workshop will lay ground for the development of Best Practice Models and Tool Kits for Advanced Digitization.

Visual History of the Holocaust will provide a digital infrastructure for the analysis, research, annotation, enrichment and study of filmic records relating to the discovery of Nazi concentration camps and other atrocity sites. In the course of the project these historical films, which currently are dispersed across archival institutions in the USA, Great Britain, Russia and various former Soviet Republics, will be aggregated, digitized, analyzed and annotated.

Apart from its geographical dispersal, a main challenge is that the digital cultural materials need to be “fit for re-use” to allow for analysis and accurate annotation.

“Advanced digitization” aims at creating digital files which
(1) originate in the most authentic and complete analog archival film records;
(2) are created utilizing imaging technology, resolution and bit depth appropriate to retrieve its image and sound content in as much detail as feasible;
(3) conform to documented industry standards for file formats and wrappers;
(4) are interoperable, suitable for automated and manual analysis and annotation;
(5) are suitable for long-term archival preservation.

This is in order to ensure that
(1) digital data is authentic (preserves the specific properties of the original analog asset);
(2) the necessary supporting information (metadata) to effectively access and preserve the digital objects and record relationships between them is collected or created;
(3) information needed to interpret a data object is collected or created.

The workshop’s goals are:

  1. To establish a shared understanding of the task ahead and of the challenges of digitization of cultural materials (film, photographic and 2D records);
  2. To gather an understanding of relevant standards, recommendations and guidelines
  3. To establish a shared understanding of the current state of digitization of relevant collections;
  4. To share best practice approaches, protocols and procedures for digitization currently implemented by the participating institutions;
  5. To draft the first outline of an “Advanced Digitization Tool Kit” to serve as a tested set of recommendations for participating VHH organizations and to inform the digitization program;
  6. To connect professionals from the fields of archiving, digital preservation, data management, conservation, curation and scholarly research with each other in the spirit of exchange and continuous development of their professions.

It is aimed at:
• professionals from participating organizations, partners and associated partners of the project;
• professionals from peer institutions;
• select suppliers / contractors to partners and associated partners of the project.

In scope:
• Digitization of motion picture film (35mm, 16mm, 8mm, 9.5mm);
• Digitization of photographs, documents or other paper-based materials;
• Processing of materials (in the imaging process / post-processing);
• File formats and wrappers;
• Quality assurance and quality control protocols and procedures;
• Capture of technical metadata;
• Documentation of digitization and/or restoration work.

Out of scope (to be included in a further workshop):
• Ingest procedures;
• Media asset management systems;
• Long-term digital preservation of assets.


Day 0: Library of Congress, Culpeper

Day 1: USHMM

Day 2: NARA, College Park

Day 2: NARA Team

Day 2, Colorlab, Rockville

Day 3: USHMM