AV Initiative FAQ

What is the AV Preservation Initiative?

The AV Preservation Initiative is a campus-wide partnership between Cornell University Library (CUL), Campus Information Technology (CIT) and the Lab of Ornithology to address the challenges in sustaining audiovisual content. As you may be aware, AV material can be challenging to access, maintain, and preserve over the long-term. The Library of Congress states that we have 10-15 years before we lose material permanently due to media degradation and hardware obsolescence.   

Our initiative’s first goal is to conduct a campus-wide census that documents the scope of the challenges at Cornell, by estimating the number of at-risk, unique items across departments.  We will then make strategic recommendations to the University on ways to digitize, store, and preserve these items in perpetuity.

What Information do you want about my materials?

We’d like to know what kind of AV materials you have and how much. If your material is important to your research or your discipline, we’d like to know. How important is it that this content is accessible for years to come?

Can you digitize my old materials for me?

Cornell University Library offers digitization services, as well as preservation and access strategy consultations through Digital Consulting and Production Services (DCAPS). However, digitization services are not free nor does the initiative currently provide any funding for mass digitization. This initial pilot is designed to simply document the scope of the challenge at Cornell University, and make recommendations for moving forward. Our hope is that we can develop a more streamlined system of workflows and standards for AV content at Cornell, and garner institutional support for the broader digitization and preservation initiative.

What happens after I give you the information you need?

After we gather as much data as possible, we plan to present our findings to the sponsoring departments (CUL, CIT, and the Lab of Ornithology) and make recommendations based upon your needs and materials. We also hope to chart out more efficient workflows and bend the cost curve involved in IT support at the department level. Lastly, we will be seeking internal and external funds to provision for the long-term care of unique audiovisual materials across campus.