Info from a group out of the Berkeley Library School on a project they have been doing to archive audio, Pop Up Archive. Do you have audio content that could help them beta test?
Their letter, with an explanation of the tool:
It’s been a really exciting year. Things have been changing rapidly for Pop Up Archive since we won the Knight News Challenge in September. The Pop Up Archive site is nearly ready. It is a simple system for marking up and storing audio and related material, leveraging existing tools and developing standards to build a repository of oral history records and foster new methods for search and discovery. We’re planning to debut the site in March at SXSW:Interactive.
At this moment, we’re busy hammering out the platform itself with our friends at PRX, but technology is nothing without content. So we’re also reaching out to friends with amazing audio in the hope that we’ll be able to include their collections in Pop Up Archive. We’re working to secure records from larger organizations like WGBH and WNYC as well as media from independent producers and small archives. It would be awesome if you’d could pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested.
So what does Pop Up Archive do exactly? Put plainly, Pop Up Archive is a repository of oral history records that:
- Preserves digital audio. Valuable cultural material is lost every time a harddrive dies or a folder gets erased to make more space on your laptop. Pop Up Archive enables anyone to add archival records and safeguard media privately on Pop Up Archive servers or publicly at the Internet Archive.
- Makes it easy to add metadata. Pop Up Archive uses speech-to-text software to create useful subject tags about your audio automatically. You’ll also be able to add custom metadata using a simple form or by importing your existing CSV or XML records.
- Enables anyone to search, filter, and access a substantive database of archival material from oral history archives, media stations, and individuals. However, we realize that not all audio is ready to be shared, so users will also be given the choice of storing their audio publicly or privately.
We’re trying to get a good base of beta testers so that we can start user testing. We’re eager to have users try out our batch upload and auto-tagging process so that we can improve the service and find out what other features people would be interested in. Also, if you’re planning to make it to SXSW this year, we’re hosting an archiving workshop and we’d love to see you there. Thank you for being a friend of Pop Up Archive!
Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith
Library school dropout though I am, I’ve always been fascinated by meta-data, and, in particular, have wondered why there is no WordPress-level practical solution for archiving web and other forms of digital production. From a web producer’s point of view, at least, adequately saving not only the finished web site but the resources, assets, and decisions that went into a digital project is nearly impossible. Pop-Up aims to do the job for audio it seems.
Looking at their report, I see that they used Omeka, an open-source platform for publishing content from museums and archives. After a quick glance, seems as if it lets discipline specific programs for various related tasks talk to each other, porting internal records to public facing web sites. (A little like American Memory?) When do catalogs become exhibits?
I’ll nose around more and report what I learn. In the meantime, ponder the wonderful names of the software programs for museum collection management mentioned by the Omeka team: Emu, PastPerfect, Pachyderm. (“Could I get the help desk please, my Pachyderm has crashed.”)