This spring, the Preservation department received an extensive donation of large audiovisual equipment from Georgia Pacific Studios (GP Studios). This donation expands the range of audiovisual formats that may be digitized by our department. As well, it brings greater efficiency and flexibility to our use of space in the audiovisual labs. Transportation of the equipment and delivery support was provided by Emory Staging and the Emory Libraries Preservation Office staff.
The GP Studios donation includes broadcast-grade playback equipment for DAT, Betacam, and Digital Betacam media formats, which will upgrade and deepen our diagnostic and digitization capabilities with these formats. Further highlights include a console for 1” reel to reel, an early magnetic media format for which playback equipment is extremely scarce, and a deck for D3, a high-end digital tape format. Previously, we had no equipment for either of these formats, but thanks to the equipment donation, we now have this expanded capability.
Along with these items, GP Studios also donated several professional-grade equipment racks for housing the audiovisual equipment in our AV department, as well as accompanying shelves and rails to build fully customized digitization stations. Capturing digital preservation files from legacy, physical media formats requires specialized setups for each format according to its technical specifications. With the expanded vertical space provided by the donated racks, we will be ready to digitize more formats more efficiently, without adjustments to equipment placement or wiring.
At the same time, our new setup provides the option to easily re-route signals or play back media on multiple devices. This will greatly assist with diagnosing and resolving the issues that arise in digitizing these often-fragile media items, which are played back on similarly legacy media equipment. In their new arrangement, our equipment will be more accessible and better ventilated—amenable to signal-path rewiring, maintenance, and diagnostics—while occupying a smaller, physical footprint in the audiovisual labs (no more squeezing behind carts to get to the inputs!)
Many thanks to all who facilitated this much appreciated donation from GP Studios!
Nina Rao, AV Conservator – Emory Libraries Preservation Office