The Library of Congress is planning a new National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia, scheduled to open in 2003. The Center will feature improved storage for the Library's recorded sound and moving image collections, a new nitrate film laboratory, a collections processing and cataloging activity, and a multipurpose digital facility. The digital facility will support the preservation of sound and video recordings, conduct research to improve digital preservation, and provide remote access to audio-visual collections for researchers in the Library's Capitol Hill reading rooms. Prototyping and design for the digital facility is taking place in 2000-2002, with implementation to continue as the Center opens and begins operation. There will be two key elements: digital production and a repository. The production facility at the Center will reformat existing collections and process newly acquired a-v materials in digital form. In planning for the repository, the Reference Model for Open Archive Information Systems (OAIS) has proved helpful. The a-v group will focus on the specialized functional elements of the model called 'ingestion' and 'access.' Meanwhile, the project will participate in Library-wide development of an enterprise-service repository that will provide the 'archival storage,' 'administration,' and 'data management' functions for all forms of digital content.
The Audio-Visual Prototyping Project is currently undertaking a number of feasibility tests and studies that underpin the broader planning effort: (1) identifying computer-file formats suitable for the preservation reformatting of recorded sound collections, including those with visual and textual elements, (2) experimental capture of curator-selected Web sites deemed suitable for addition to the Library's a-v collections, (3) the definition of descriptive, structural, and administrative metadata to be captured in association with the production process, (4) development of a preliminary methodology for the capture of this metadata, and (5) applying an XML-based encoding scheme to a-v digital archival objects. The XML scheme being tested is the one developed for the Making of America 2 project by the University of California at Berkeley. The Audio-Visual Prototyping Project is being carried out by the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, supported by the National Digital Library Program and the Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress.