Kia Siang Hock & Adrian Chan
National Library Board of Singapore (Singapore)
The National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) manages the National Library, the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) and the Public Libraries in Singapore. It holds a collection of oral history interview, music tracks/scores/lyrics, audio-visual and sound recordings which are valuable to Singapore.
The technical issues affecting the long term survival and accessibility of audio-visual collections requires the careful management of these materials which poses significant challenges to libraries and archives.
The risk of media obsolescence, particularly for the analogue formats and media, requires urgent migration and digitization. This is done by the Sound and Moving Image Laboratory (SMIL) of NAS which conserves, digitises and preserves audio-visual recordings for NLB.
SMIL’s capabilities to manage the digitized and born-digital audio-visual content includes: automated file-based quality control (QC) system to meet compliance to formats and content quality requirements, a media asset management (MAM) system to manages the workflow, transcoding and reproduction and off-air recording of public service broadcasts (such as news, current affairs and documentaries) which is now captured in HD.
Collaborating with NLB’s Technology & Innovation (TNI) team, SMIL’s hierarchical storage strategy was implemented to allow storage for huge audio-visual contents and collections. Ingest systems are setup to ingest new formats in High Definition (HD) and 2K and eventually 4K resolutions. The constant need to migrate digital files into newer formats is systematically done to ensure that nothing is lost to technological obsolescence.
This paper shares NLB’s experience in the end-to-end management of its growing audio-visual content for access and preservation.
Mr. Kia Siang Hock is currently the Deputy Director overseeing IT Architecture and Innovation at the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB). In this role, he and his teams are heavily involved in the conceptualisation, prototyping, design and development of various innovative services at NLB.
Mr. Adrian Chan is currently the Assistant Director overseeing the Sound and Moving Image Lab at the National Archives of Singapore (NAS). In this role, he and his teams managed both the Audio-visual Archive and Oral History Centre’s preservation, migration and archival of analogue and digital AV records. Part of the work involves identifying, organising and preserving the audio-visual records according to medium, carrier type, formats and media by a system of migration and exploring new audio-visual technologies. In recent years, SMIL also recommends and implement appropriate technologies relating to the preservation of audio-visual records and it’s condition via a risk management strategy.