The Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries are out and they contain the poster lead by Cal Lee from our “Keeping the Context: An Investigation in Preserving Collections of Digital Video” that was presented at the conference. The participants in the Video Archive project and the authors of the poster are Christopher A. Lee, Helen R. Tibbo, Dawne Howard, Yaxiao Song, Terrell Russell, and Paul Jones. As you can guess by the listing, I take pride in the good work done here even though my contribution on this particular part of the project was much less than the others.
In the Preserving Video Objects and Context (VidArch) project, we are developing a preservation framework for digital video context. Access systems for text collections often rely on surrogates, such as indices, catalogs, and abstracts. In addition to facilitating discovery and retrieval, surrogates provide valuable contextual information. In archival description, attention to context is expressed through finding aids, which include not only inventories of the contents of collections, but also background information about actors and activities that generated the materials, and the ways they were organized by their original creators or recipients. Recent research has produced and investigated an analogous set of surrogates for digital video collections. These include textual descriptions, title, captions, and annotations, but they also include surrogates that are still or moving images: video segments, keyframes, slide shows, and fast forwards.
VidArch is focused on two collections within the Open Video repository: videos that NASA produces to advance learning and appreciation for science; and videos of presentations to annual ACM conferences. The two collections reflect several forms of documentation that may be valuable to preserve in order to convey context: text-based surrogates, image-based surrogates, links to related videos, use history data, and supporting documents (e.g. lesson plans). We have generated finding aids to the two collections in order to reflect contextual information that is not readily available within Open Video. The poster below presents aspects of an evolving framework for digital video context and illustrates points of potential contextual information creation/capture within the lifecycle of the NASA videos.