In 2017, after realizing how vulnerable and unnavigable our collection of raw digital media was, we began a process to catalog and eventually preserve our raw media content. We had footage living on old hard drives, in the same files that it had been in during the production process.
We knew we had plenty of AV materials documenting important moments and intimate interviews, but frequently we couldn’t find what we needed when we needed it. Thus far, we have focused on cataloging our most vulnerable material, created between 2006-2012.
The first big step was backing up all the footage and moving it off of the old hard drives. Once we had a new working copy of the media (20 TBs!) we began to rearrange and log information about the files. We used the first summer of cataloging to perfect our process, thanks to an intern funded by the Peace and Global Citizenship Program at Haverford College. Since that first summer over 6 additional interns, volunteers, and catalogers have contributed to the catalog of raw media.
In the fall of 2018, we received a grant from the Council on Information and Library Resources to digitize and catalog the material from about 500 miniDV tapes, this resulted in the cataloging of 400 additional hours of footage. Our catalog currently has almost 800 hours of raw video and audio files documenting movements across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and beyond.