The project's objective is to provide technical solutions and integrated
systems for a complete digital preservation of all kinds of audio-visual
Institutions traditionally responsible for preserving
audio-visual collections (broadcasters, research institutions, libraries,
museums, etc.) now face major technical, organisational, resource, and
legal challenges in taking on the migration to digital formats and the
preservation of already digitised holdings. Technical obsolescence and
physical deterioration of their assets imply widely concerted policy
and efficient technical services to achieve long-term digital preservation.
The principal aim is to build-up preservation factories providing affordable
services to all kinds of collection's custodians in order to manage and
distribute their assets.
The 20th Century has provided a new kind of heritage through audiovisual
technology. Key events were recorded, and audiovisual media became the
new form of cultural expression and an expansion of humankind memory.
These historical, cultural and commercial assets are much more fragile
that conventional artwork (paintings, paper documents, monuments …),
and are now entirely at risk from deterioration. The UNESCO estimate
of the world audiovisual holdings is 200 million hours and about 50 million
in Europe. All audio, video and film recordings are endangered within
the next 20 years. This is a main challenge for local and national archives
but also for universities, libraries, museums and enterprise or personal
Audiovisual contents are disseminated and archive owners are heterogeneous
in nature and size: institutions, enterprises, regional and local communities...
Up to now, the economical cost and the technological complexity prevent
these stakeholders from elaborating and managing their own patrimonial
policy, and they have to wait for public rules and subventions in a centralised
Although large Broadcasters have already begun to digitise their huge
holdings, with very high costs and using complex technology, the necessity
is now to introduce a preservation factory approach with the objective
of providing an integrated semi-automated solution, to reduce the costs
so that the small-to-medium collections can also be saved through common
standardised services. The services will be tailored to the realities
of the wide variety of audiovisual collections: economic and social models,
storage and software costs, and human resources costs as well as the
policies and practices applied by stakeholders.
The way to achieve the goal of ‘preservation for
all collections’ is with an integrated approach, to produce sustainable
assets with easy access for larger exploitation and distribution to specialists
and general public. The key idea is: an accessible item is more valuable
than an item stuck on a shelf. An integrated process provides this access,
generating revenues that will fund the activity and developing resources
to finance collection maintenance.
Previous European Projects like PRESTO developed efficient preservation
technology for broadcasters, and demonstrated that saving 50% of preservation
work can be achieved through a semi-automated assembly-line, with each
operator running multiple ‘preservation chains’.
Access requirements involve: addressing to whole documents or excerpts
with the adequate metadata and rights clearance and rights management,
quality restoration where needed and effective delivery systems for commercial
and public access. There are unsolved problems of digitisation, metadata
extraction, restoration, storage, network bandwidth, secure interaction,
and end-user delivery. Partial solutions exist, but in general they are
not robust, scaleable or affordable – and definitely not integrated
end-to-end within a sustainable commercial and legal model. Today many
initiatives are funded on a project-by-project basis that provides a
poor basis for long-term strategic pan-European collaborative efforts
in the field.
In order to enable any European archive owner, from small collections
to the largest, to manage an autonomous and realistic patrimonial policy,
including preservation and exploitation of digital assets, PrestoSpace
will push the limits of the current technology beyond the State of the
Art, bringing together industry, research institutes and stakeholders
at European level to provide products and services for bringing effective
automated preservation and access to Europe’s diverse audiovisual
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